Brianne Murphy Miller, LCI’s new business guru here.
Used to be you could pretty much count on seasons in the business year. Especially in public relations – big product launches generally fell in Fall and Spring, holiday promotions take place in November and December, and at least one “New Year’s” pitch would dominate end of year/start of new year. But chalk it up to the economy, the rise of the 24/7 nature of work, or the constantly changing media landscape…there aren’t that many seasons anymore.
So right now, those of us who are parents are in the “school year’s ending and now I have to figure out the whole summer” season. I can still count on that (panic, dread, confusion – if you’re a parent, you know what I’m talking about). But work – that’s a whole other story.
Take, for instance, the story of a new business pitch I’m currently drafting. In the space of the two or three months I’ve been speaking to this company, they’ve changed their launch strategy at least four times. Time’s a wastin’ and (even though it’s not my problem – I mean they haven’t hired us yet) I’m nervous for them. Just because online and social media change in the blink of an eye doesn’t mean the bedrock of a campaign changes. I’m talking about strategy. And while we incorporate social media into every campaign we do, it’s not a one-shot deal for a consumer product. The foundation of any campaign (messaging, training, analysis, strategic development) is vital to the success of the implementation. I’m afraid in all our rush to seasonlessness (OK, I know that’s not a word) some are forcing — and rushing — the most important step.
So what to do? Well, we’re lucky that we’re nimble, mid-sized, don’t have to adhere to some corporate criteria handed down by the dark overlords (yes, yes, exaggerating). But in truth, we can turn on a dime. It’s handy in a 24/7 world – and in parenting.
Meanwhile, what are you going to do this summer? If you’re planning a staycation (ugh, I’m sick of that word already) here are some ideas for you:
- Eat out. Really, what’s a vacation without a great meal or two? Even if your vacation is no further than your backyard, treat yourself to a great meal you don’t have to clean up afterwards. Easy reservations at Open Table: www.opentable.com.
- Be a kid. Even if you don’t have any – when’s the last time you went to the park or the zoo and just kicked around a soccer ball? Play with abandon. But don’t forget the sunscreen.
- Play hooky. Aw come on…one day’s not going to hurt (David, I hope you’re not reading this!)
- Turn it off. Unplug and unwind. The world will still revolve if your BlackBerry screen is black and that text goes unanswered.
- Breathe. That’s it, a big deep breath. Fall will come soon enough.