Summer Slowdown?

Welcome to August. The days are long and warm, tourists wearing sandals with socks clog the streets with enthusiastic pointing and curious questions, the smell of burning meat wafts from raucous backyards, car drivers share garbled snatches music as they pass, while shop owners crank their prices to pay for that Maui vacation. It’s a time for long lunches and early cut outs to drink cold beer. The silly season in the press where nothing’s happening, so soft stories get covered.

August is the time when you’re supposed to do the campaign planning, catch up on that pile of reading, review those objectives, sort out that filing, do all the important but not urgent things you’re supposed to do when things quieten down.

But frankly the concept of the Summer Slowdown is a myth. I can’t think of any year when the summer has been slow, and this one is no exception. In fact, August is often one of the toughest months. Many companies plan product launches in September which need preparation; companies review their PR agencies in August ready for the second half push so there’s lots of renewals to conduct and pitch presentations to develop; staff go on vacation so the team needs to cover; staff churn takes a blip following vacation reflections so recruitment and HR is a priority; chasing payment is slow due to stretched finance teams; and legal discussions for contracts with prospects, suppliers and premises become protracted for the same reasons.

So now’s the time when reputations are made. When junior staff rise to the challenge while their team leaders are out, new clients are won, great campaigns are developed, new staff come on board, client relationships are renewed. It’s the Summer Speed-up, my friends. Enjoy.