“We’re just about to complete the Manchester deal, Henrietta, but let’s wait until the start of September to announce it, when everyone’s back from their holiday,” says one client at our monthly PR meeting.
Ah, the perennial “announce it in August or wait until September?” dilemma. Nonsense, really. We all use our mobiles, iPads and laptops every day, even in August, but our brains are still working in the 1980s, when property people read newspapers, so missed all the news during their summer holidays in Tuscany.
I tell the client we should go public in August, because everyone else has put off their announcements until the first week in September. He sounds sceptical – but not as sceptical as me when I pop to my local coffee shop and they try to flog me iced coffee.
One hot cortado later, I head off to another client meeting with my colleague Rebecca. “Did you hear about the PR firm that sent a metal briefcase full of PR goodies to that digital media lot, Quartz?” she asks. I hadn’t. “Quartz thought it was a suspicious package and evacuated its New York office.” We laugh. We both loathe PR stunts.
At the client’s office we have a dilemma. The CEO’s stonking annual bonus doubled his remuneration to £4m. Trouble is he has to tell the world about it. He suggests dribbling out the report and accounts in mid-August.
Remembering my earlier conversation with the other client, I reply: “No, the first week of September is best. Everyone else is announcing something then, so ours will get lost in the rush.”