News never stops—even during the holidays. But many journalists do take vacation days at the end of the year to spend time with family and friends, as they should. And while that means there are fewer journalists reporting fewer stories this time of year, all hope is not lost. Slow news cycles do present some opportunities—particularly for those campuses that don’t close between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
 
Here are three ways to take advantage of time in the office between December 26 and January 2:
 
Capitalize on breaking news
Major news events can happen at any time. And short-staffed newsrooms mean that in a breaking news situation, journalists sometimes have to scramble to find sources and get their story reported with limited assistance from junior staffers, researchers and guest bookers. In short, they’re more likely to use a well-timed expert pitch and resources supplied by public affairs teams.
 
Push evergreen stories
During a slow news cycle, journalists aren’t pitched as frequently, meaning the ones who are in the office may be looking for story ideas. This just may be the time to dust off some of your evergreen stories and starting putting out some feelers.
 
Build and strengthen relationships
While things are quiet, consider reaching out to reporters you admire and aspire to work with more frequently and invite them to coffee or lunch. Other times of the year are often so hectic that reporters can’t take the time away from the office for these kinds of meet-and-greet opportunities, but slow news days lend themselves to a leisurely cup of coffee.
 
However you choose to make the most of what can be a difficult time to place stories, remember to think like a journalist, anticipate their needs, and find the intersections with what your institution has to offer. The week between Christmas and New Year’s can result in some meaningful coverage if you approach it in creative ways. So, happy holidays and happy pitching!