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  • Sam Schofield

Light your PR fireworks this "silly season"

Halloween is just around the corner. Then bonfire night. And immediately after the fireworks are cleared out of supermarkets they will be replaced with Christmas items (if they haven't been sneaking in there already).

National celebrations will be popping up at a frantic rate on the calendar and social media over the coming two months and PR is, in large part, central to that prominence.

Almost all retailers will be attempting to attract customers during this consumerism frenzy and that includes getting their brands into the press. One of my favourites so far in the run-up to Halloween is Poundland's free "Harry Potter-inspired invisibility cloak" - just a coat hanger with a tag on it. I wouldn't like to guess how much money was actually spent on this campaign but the PR results have been bountiful. A quick Google News search for "Invisible Cloak Poundland" yielded over 66,000 results.

"Silly season" used to primarily refer to the Christmas holidays, when hard hitting news stories tended to dry up and newspapers filled their pages with, well, silly stories like invisibility cloaks. But with the dawn and growth of the internet, silly season is now year round, and quickly ramps up in the approach to Halloween and through to the New Year.

This is an opportunity for any business, not just retailers, to get themselves publicity with what at any other time of the year would be ignored. Try selling an invisibility cloak in February and see how far that gets you. Of course, the more innovative the better, as newspapers will be inundated with fancy dress photos.

So get your witch hats on... sorry, I meant thinking caps... and come up with a ghoulishly clever campaign that is sure to delight social media followers and news readers alike.



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