Ah, the summertime, when the living is easy. But when content and traffic sometimes dries up.
Well, with a little purposeful planning and engagement, the summer can be a booming time for your news organization.
Here is a list of ideas you could try this summer:
1. Build a map of fireworks shows: Showcase where your Fourth of July events are with a simple Google map. Here’s a nice example from Community Impact Newspaper.
2. 5 things you didn’t know about the Fourth of July: This is a nice feature from the New York Post to educate your audience about the holiday with interesting facts they may not be aware of.
3. Create a guide for the Fourth: This post by the San Diego Union-Tribune dives deep into all of the things you can do for the holiday. A list-based approach is great especially if you are able to organize your article by topics like events, parking, watching it online, etc.
4. A history piece: The LA Times took a look at what it was like on the Fourth of July 100 years ago with old front pages – pretty interesting. Another way to do this is to showcase over the years what parades in your town have looked like.
5. Air pollution concerns with the Fourth: This LA Times piece looks into how air pollution balloons during the Fourth of July due to all of the smoke in the air. See if you can track down similar data in your community.
6. Timelapse: Cleveland.com created an interesting time lapse of the big fireworks show over the city.
7. Is travel going to be a nightmare? This SFgate.com piece says that travel may be a major headache this summer. Take a look at the number of travelers in airports compared to last Memorial Day or July 4 and offer tips to help travelers.
8. Discount places to travel? You could do this within your state like Forbes did, even by different price points. Could make for a fun piece. And then there’s this example looking at where your dollar will go the farthest when it comes to summer travel.
9. Make the trip lists for families: These trip ideas focus all on just families. It’s a category that likely has a lot of interest around it.
10. Romantic trips: US News noted a few places that are perfect for couples for the summer. You could do that in your state or even your city. Think about great summer dates even.
11. Cool off with food: Lists around the best food to keep you cool like ice cream or adult beverages are always a hit. Here’s a nice example from Eater Seattle.
12. Demonstrate hot food: Have some fun with frying an egg in the sun, baking cookies in your car through the heat. Get creative. Ask readers for their ideas.
13. Cool off your house: A tip oriented piece with the experts on how to cool down your house, especially if you don’t have an AC, is useful. Finding a person to profile who has figured this out is even better.
14. Hot tea can cool you down: Science says it’s true so look into the latest studies around this and offer some suggestions to your audience on this and other foods that can help. Ask your readers for their tips.
15. Unusual ways to cool down: From eating sweats to grazing, there are a bunch of interesting ideas in this story on unusual ways to beat the heat.
16. Where to stay cool: This is a no-brainer if you live in a hot city. Consider building single stories off some of these ideas like splash pads, pools, jump spots, etc.
17. Ask readers to share: There are so many options like asking for summer travel photos, favorite summer ice cream treats, barbecue recipes, Fourth of July photos and more. You could do one a week.
18. Contests galore: There are 72 ideas in this post from Second Street on everything from contests for the worst barbecue to quizzes for the Fourth of July. Plenty to borrow from here.
19. Specialty days: Keep these all in mind. They are really perfect for social media callouts and opportunities for content. Here’s a calendar of all of them.
• June 8: Best Friends Day
• June 10: Iced Tea Day
• June 14: Flag Day
• June 21: Take a Road Trip Day
• July 7: Chocolate Day
• July 13: Friday the 13th
• July 21: National Ice Cream Day
• Aug. 4: National Sisters Day
• Aug. 16: National Tell A Joke Day
How The Center Square has created a successful statewide wire service and ways to use their content