Guest Blog: In the bleak midwinter: if you snooze, you lose- James Rix, Street PR

Lots of experiential practitioners will tell you that winter can be tough – they argue that there’s not a lot of big bucks activity in our industry until the weather warms up and the daffs and snowdrops start to poke out in early Spring.

Ask most agencies, and they’ll say that their busiest times run from May until December, with peaks for school holidays, summer festivals and then the run-up to Christmas. As a result, many agencies seem to spend the cold dark months of January and February huddled around their computer screens for warmth, chasing the big jobs for when every-one comes out of hibernation…

Well, at StreetPR, we obviously never got the memo about not going out until spring arrives, because we’ve been busy busy busy since the start of 2017.

To be blunt, business doesn’t stop because the temperature’s fallen.

Yes, the big jobs from the big brands do tend to wait until the sun comes out because they want the mass audiences offered by festivals and events, which tend to be warm weather reliant; but there’s plenty of work out there if you know where to look for it and if you’re prepared to put in the effort to chase it and then deliver the best possible activations for your clients.

It’s like those nature programmes on the TV – David Attenborough’s Life in the Freezer, for example. No matter how cold it gets, there’s always something out there hustling. The polar bears might be snoozing away in their snow caves, but the arctic foxes are hard at work hunting down their next meal.

You just make sure your brand ambassadors are kitted out with warm coats, gloves and woolly hats before you send them out chasing prospects.

So what’s been keeping us busy at StreetPR HQ?

We’re doing some exciting work in football stadiums for a newly-launched fantasy football gaming app called Sportito. It started in Italy, it came to the UK in January 2017 month and it’s already official fantasy sports partner for Fulham, Hull and Burnley. It’s on a big expansion drive and obviously the guys who run it recognise the value of face to face marketing in gaining traction and trial with sports lovers because they’ve got us leafleting football grounds.

One long-time client who we’re working for right now is Cynosure, which offers a hair removal service using electrolysis – we’re doing lots of product demos for them at Westfield Stratford and Westfield London. Again, it’s all about the power of real people to get consumers interested enough to want to know more.

We’ve also got a lot of staff going around gyms and leisure centres at the moment. I’d like to say that that’s because all our staff are fit; but it’s actually because, as we all know, at the start of the year people realise they’ve piled on the pounds over Christmas and the New Year. They’re particularly receptive to the idea of losing the excess.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg (to keep going with the winter theme!). We’ve got hundreds of staff out on the streets of London and elsewhere, no matter what the weather, working their you know what’s off for our clients.

So, if anyone tries to tell you there’s no activity in the experiential industry in the wintertime, now you know better. There are lots of companies, particularly young, ambitious new online sales/real world delivery start-ups, that simply aren’t going to wait until the green shoots start poking through the snow to start hunting for new users.

I’m no animal expert (although I have just got myself the world’s cutest French Bulldog) but as far as I’m concerned, there’s a connection between the fact that polar bears spend half the year sleeping and them being officially endangered, and the fact that Arctic foxes are out on the snow during the harshest winters and them being of ‘least concern’ on the threatened species list.

You snooze, you lose…

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