11 September 2017 Guest Contributor

In little over a month, Christmas decorations will start to appear in shopping centres and marketing messages across all platforms. You may have also noticed call outs on SourceBottle from many of the glossy magazines asking for ideas for Christmas gifts and other silly season-related stories.

This is often a not-so-subtle reminder the end of the year is nigh and there's still loads to be done to achieve your business goals. But, instead of panicking about what still needs to be done this year, make the most of the here and now so you can kick back over Christmas AND continue your PR on autopilot.

The mistake many make, especially if you're a home-based and micro/small business, is not taking the time to strategise and plan through the summer break. Then, when January/February rolls around, it's almost like we're starting from scratch.

You need a plan to help ensure you're cruising while others are snoozing. Get a run up to the silly season this year by trying out some of these techniques:

1. Create a SourceBottle library of responses

While you're lazying around the pool over Christmas (pretending you're not doing any work), make your life easier by having a library of media call out responses ready to go. Spend time brainstorming possible story ideas around your industry/niche that relate to: Christmas, end-of-the year, New Year resolutions, returning to school/work, family relationships, finances, health and wellness, sport, relaxation, organisation, rejuvenation, and similar-type topics. Perhaps keep them in a Dropbox or cloud folder ready to cut and paste into the SourceBottle response so you're not spending too much time crafting a response from scratch. This will definitely help you keep your finger on the PR pulse.

2. Update your bio and photo

After a while, like everything in life, our content gets tired and needs a spring clean. And we're all so busy being busy, we often forget to stop and acknowledge the wins and successes along the way. Won an award, written a book, spoken at events, had some huge client wins etc? These victories need to be showcased on your website, LinkedIn profile, Expert Profile and anywhere else people look to find out more about you. And don't forget your profile pic!  There's nothing more "inauthentic" than meeting someone still clinging to their photo from 1997. People change.

3. Write your content now

When is the best time to do your blogging and social media content? NOW! Set aside a day to write eight blogs ready for December and January. While you're at it, repurpose those eight blogs into social media content (Canva is a great tool to repurpose – think infographics, memes, inspirational quotes) and schedule, so you can set and forget. That way, there's always something promoting your business out there...even through you're sucking back tequlias on beach. If you have any Christmas promo or timely product/story, now is the time to be pitching it to the media, especially magazines as they're preparing for December now!

These techniques, while requiring a bit of sweat in the short term, will definitely lead to lazy Sundays over the silly season so you can be recharging for the exciting year ahead.

Former journalist Annette Densham is the Chief PR Genie-us at Publicity Genie where she specialises in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs get maximum media coverage and free publicity to make more money and get more clients.