Budget Day - one of the big set pieces for government, the press and the armies of PRs up and down the country.
Press release after press release will be issued welcoming or decrying the Budget - "Chancellor gives with one hand, takes with another", "a Robin Hood Chancellor", "a cautious welcome, but the devil is in the detail".
Simon English, the Evening Standard's senior city correspondent and writing for Roxhill Media/Signal Media's Tomorrow's Business yesterday (7 March), says that hacks too hate Budget Day.
Journalists are asked to write on subjects they do not regularly cover. Editors are paranoid that they will miss something important, and whilst newsdesks will have a plan of attack, it usually falls apart when deadlines loom.
So how should PRs, and particularly those in professional services firms, approach Budget Day?
Unless you work for one of the world's largest accounting firms who can put forward huge teams that pour over every word and announcement, I would suggest the following:
- Plan in advance. For regional firms, that might contacting a local broadcaster with the offer of a studio guest offering reaction and commentary. James Cowper Kreston, an accountancy firm in the Thames Valley and South Coast, has by way of example, its accountants in studio with BBC Radio Berkshire, BBC Radio Solent and BBC Radio Oxford. All lined up in advance, relieving some pressure on the day.
- Target press releases and comment. Do not try and cover the entire Budget in one press release. It won't work. Pick on one aspect, provide a concise explanation and quote and target a small number of journalists that cover that issue. Insightful comment will be welcomed.
- Phone or email. National newspapers and broadcasters are unlikely to welcome a phone call with a pitch on Budget Day unless you can offer a very strong opinion from a recognised name or brand. Better a pithy pitch via email.
To subscribe to the excellent Tomorrow's Business newsletter from Roxhill Media and Signal Media follow this link - http://signalmedia.co/tomorrows-business-sign-up/