I am sure you’ll agree that strategic PR and Marketing planning is vitally important to your business strategy. A well-crafted integrated plan that reaches across your communications channels is a must for all businesses looking to increase their visibility. However, I’ve been thinking recently about the importance of making the most of ad hoc opportunities that arise. Whilst it’s great to have a plan, it’s also imperative to allow yourself the flexibility to deviate slightly off plan if a fantastic opportunity comes up! For the purposes of this blog we’ll refer to this deviation as a form of ‘carpe diem PR’. Essentially it’s about seizing the day and grabbing those random opportunities to maximise your brand, as and when they appear.

For example, I recently had the good fortune to be working for a client promoting their eco courses at Latitude festival, in the east of England. The PR plan for this event was to work with children creating eco-sculptures out of natural building materials, whilst also educating both the children and the parents about the sustainability courses that my client runs. It’s a lovely mechanic that we developed together last year and we were lucky enough to be asked to come back this year to run some more workshops which turned out to be very popular.

This year we were running two sessions per day for three days, and by the end of the final session (when we thought we were all PR’ed out), a fantastic opportunity arose! I was walking back to my clients stand with a well-deserved round of drinks to celebrate the creation of our 150th sculpture, when I spotted a camera crew scouting around the children’s activity area where we were based. Being in PR, a camera crew always peaks my interest, but this crew had a familiar looking logo attached to the camera, so I looked more closely and realised it was the HelloU crew, a popular youth news and entertainment publishers. A friend of mine set up this company a few years ago and although he wasn’t present, I approached the team, checked that I had made the correct brand connection and then when they confirmed that I had, I wasted no time in requesting that they come and get an interview with my client before I plied her with alcohol! After all, with over 20 million monthly hits, that’s a carpe diem PR opportunity not to be missed!

This is just one example of a time when it paid off to spot a potential opportunity and grab the bull by the horns, but I can think of several others too and they come in many other guises. The trick is to be able to put on your PR hat and spot that there is an opportunity to be had and then go for it! So, next time you think a carpe diem PR opportunity is present for you, take a deep breath and seize the day. You never know what might happen as a result!