Tips for Avoiding the Summer Lull

Gaby Berkman & Caitlyn Keating


Image from CubaGallery used under C license.

Full disclosure: I am writing this about an hour before I leave work, get into my car and drive north to Vermont for an extra-long weekend of spending time outdoors with my family. So, I’ve got vacation on my mind J

While sadly, it is already the end of July, there are still plenty of the dog days of summer left. For the business world, the summer means vacations, Summer Fridays and the boss and clients headed out for extended periods of time. As I prepare to unplug myself for a few days, I start to think: how can PR pros make the most of the often-slower summer days?

First, take a vacation. While it is so easy to get into the groove of not taking days off, the truth is, everybody (at all levels) needs time away from the computer. Vacations are scientifically proven (and you cannot argue with science) to boost overall well being, decrease stress and potentially even lower the risk of heart attacks. While on vacation – whether it be in the woods, Paris or Disneyworld – use the time to unplug as much as you can. After all, will you really feel refreshed and ready to come back to work if you still check and respond to work emails on your precious days off? PAN client Bandwidth has a stringent policy on that: when you are on vacation, you are strictly prohibited from contacting any people you work with, and vis-versa.

Second, when your managers are on vacation, use the time to be proactive. From my few years in PR, my experience has been that managers love when you think of an idea or complete a task before they remind you – or even before they complete it themselves. If there is downtime when a manager is enjoying their well-earned vacation at the lake house, surprise them by building out that media list you have been meaning to do or coming up with timely pitch angles. Or, jump into that plan or press release you know they will prioritize when they are back.  It will be less for them to tackle when they return, plus happy manager = happy employee!

Lastly, when your clients are on vacation, use the time to remind them when they hired your firm in the first place. If there is an ongoing project you have been working on for a client, make sure it is wrapped up and in their inbox for when they get back. Prove that you are still thinking of them by sending over trends or thought leadership angles to jump on or even better, sending a media opportunity or two. Just because they are not in the office, doesn’t mean there isn’t anything for you to do for them. And, they will be pleasantly surprised to go through their inbox and find a few notes from you! Just remember not to over email.

Looking for more tips about how to make the most of your vacation? Terri Trespicio of meQuilibrium, a company focused on stress release and resiliency training, feels employees often worry that the office will fall apart without them, but there are ways to truly unwind. It is import to lay ground rules on how connected you want to be during your vacation and you should also plan for your reentry, so you know what to expect on that first day back in the office. With these tips in mind you should be able to reduce stress before, during and after your vacation.

Are you planning on taking any vacations this summer? What are your best practices for when managers/clients are out? Let us know in the comments below!


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