3 min read
Key Calendar Events Shaping 2024: Preparing Your PR Strategy
By: Amy Dardinger Jan 10, 2024 11:45:00 AM
Every four years, seismic events collide to create a sort of super year. Not only is there an extra day (happy birthday, Leap Year babies, especially breakout NBA media darling Tyrese Halliburton), but there’s also a Summer Olympics and a Presidential Election on the horizon. As PR professionals, it’s our job to connect the dots between these events and our clients’ strategies, integrating them into larger conversations throughout the year. A smart corporate communications schedule takes months of careful curation to create maximum impact and ultimately reach our clients’ larger goals.
To say the least, there are some opportunities and challenges in the PR year ahead. A year with a crowded calendar requires extra forethought. It’s time to open up your 2024 planner and take some notes.
After Leap Day, the next unique 2024 event is a total solar eclipse on April 8, which will traverse some of America’s most populous cities. This event will provide PR opportunities for all the astronomers and ophthalmologists out there – and will probably cause a run on safe solar viewing glasses.
Next up is the Summer Olympics in Paris. If your company provides data, how can you tie metrics into a major event like this? Generally, we recommend pitching data a month before key events – so for the Olympics taking place July 26 to August 11, you should align with your PR team in June. This provides the best chance to secure placements and capitalize before the athletes’ accomplishments take center stage. We saw great success for our clients measuring streaming services during the last Olympics. With an agile PR strategy, we were able to provide real-time analytics to media covering the games and get our clients prominently featured in coverage.
Now for the elephant (and donkey) in the room, the Presidential Election. Election Day is Tuesday, November 5. Q4 is already a scheduling challenge in a normal year due to the holiday season. In a presidential year, Q4 is entirely eclipsed by political news. News outlets reallocate their resources, reassign reporters to election beats and double down on policy and election horse-race style coverage. For some companies, the saturation of political news is frightening. Especially for brands trying to stay entirely out of the fray, it can be hard to navigate.
If your company is risk averse, apolitical and hoping to make a splash in 2024, make any major announcements by September. The earlier the better. You’re more likely to attract the attention of potential buyers and investors if you’re putting out news earlier in the year. While industry trades will still be looking for news in Q4, tier-one press will be less focused on business stories. Keep that in mind when setting internal expectations.
If your company is ready to discuss some of the issues pertinent to the election, the increased focus on politics can be used to your advantage. This doesn’t necessarily mean taking a stand one way or the other. It can mean providing advice, expertise or relevant data to reporters.
For example, if your company operates in health tech, your CEO and Chief Medical Officer could discuss the economic impact of different candidates’ proposals. Some advocacy may also be advantageous to your business. It’s a topic to discuss with your executives and PR team at the beginning of Q1 – AKA now – as the primary season heats up.
2024 will be jam-packed with newsworthy events, which means breaking through the noise while being agile and responsive is more important than ever. We’re ready to tackle the year, are you?