It’s that time of year when no matter where you look, those New Year’s resolutions seem to take over. Crowds suddenly appear at the gym, the office is filled with chatter of new weight-loss goals and travel plans feed our aching wanderlust. “New year, new me,” has once again surfaced as the post year-end celebration mantra.
The Fort Worth chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) even chimed in with its own professional resolutions during a recent luncheon/panel discussion. The panelists of “New Year’s Resolutions for PR Professionals” discussed creating and defining professional goals and predicted public relations trends.
And luckily for you, Reader, we were there to capture it all.
1. Know your people. Know your business.
Panelist Trameika Vaxter of Ware & Associates emphasized the power in strengthening current relationships with clients, competitors, vendors, colleagues and other contacts. Her advice? Let small talk die in 2017, and frame relationship building to be more meaningful this year. Connections grow stronger with each conversation, so it pays to actively listen, respond and retain all those stories—yes, even the ones about your vendor’s new Labradoodle.
2. Perfect the multi-channel pitch.
The days of a single pitch in public relations are over, and the most prepared professionals will cultivate a succinct, well-designed, multi-channel and multimedia pitch. Using a short video or audio clip can demonstrate to journalists how the pitch would fit onto different digital and social media channels. It’s a New Year—that means a new opportunity to get with the times.
3. Be proactive with crisis management.
In the midst of last year’s alarming amount of cases involving sexual harassment, companies are encouraged to be proactive with crisis management by familiarizing themselves with the existing procedures.
Drawing from last year’s United Airlines crisis, panelist Jeff Carlton of UNT Health Science Center advocated for direct access to the client’s leadership team to improve communication in a crisis. The release of the primary official statements from United Airlines revealed the necessity for the communication team to have immediate access to the company’s leadership—something which the United Airlines’ communication director did not have prior to the two passenger incidents last summer.
4. Capitalize on earned coverage.
“Earned coverage is vapor and it’s our job to make that water.” Panelist Lane Borrello of GM Financial highlighted the importance of capitalizing on earned coverage before the 12-hour evaporation window closes. She proposed that larger companies implement weekly editorial meetings in which the entire team offers two or three of their assignments that other departments could leverage. We know what you’re thinking… Adding another meeting to your week is the last thing on your mind. But, in this case, you might find that the benefits largely outweigh the inconvenience. Try it and see where it gets you.
As an added bonus…
The panelists also suggested productivity and content creation programs that have worked well for their companies and organizations, including Trello and Dynamic Signal for collaboration monitoring and shareable content creation. It may not be spring just yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get organized, right?
From our team to yours, Happy New Year and best of luck in 2018!