By Lisa Hester, Senior Account Manager
Happy New Year to all! And welcome to the month known for setting, and hopefully keeping, New Year’s resolutions. While you may have a set of personal goals, consider these professional goals, as well, to start off 2019 on the right foot.
1. Be transparent
Given the continued abundance of fake news in the media, transparency and honesty are critical in brands’ messages to their audiences. Be truthful in your communications and let your audiences get to know who you are and what your brand stands for.
2. Be prepared for a crisis
Last year, 2018, had its share of PR crises…from the eye-opening news that Facebook’s user data may have been harvested for political purposes, not to mention the revelation of Facebook has data-sharing partnerships with at least four Chinese companies, to the hubbub over IHOP’s attempt to change its name to IHOb to promote its new line of burgers, to the outrage over Dorito’s introduction of a female-friendly corn chip, oh an all the videoed rat sightings at Burger King.
Unarguably, it’s wise to have a crisis plan in place for every client. The key is finding the time to prepare a plan. This year, don’t put it off. Schedule planning sessions now for the sole purpose of developing solid crisis plans. That way when/if a crisis occurs, your PR team will be prepared. Start with these basic steps:
1) Analyze internal processes to spot potential weaknesses within the business
2) Identify stakeholders and influencers who need to be kept in the loop if a crisis occurs
3) Understand where conversations are likely to develop online and how they may spread
3. Know what to pitch
Of course this topic could easily fill an entire blog post by itself, but to summarize it here… We are well aware that the average person is on information overload. In fact, marketing firm Yankelovich, Inc. estimates that the average person is exposed to about 5,000 advertisements per day…and that’s only ads. That figure doesn’t include other marketing messages. Thus, the key to every successful PR campaign is to identify not just what the brand wants to communicate, but how to make it interesting to your audience. Always think about messaging from the audience’s point of view. Then get creative with your messages. Make them stand out. After that, the next step is to select the proper channels to share those creative messages about the brand.
4. Professional development
Find ways to stay in tune with the profession. Educate yourself on current trends, advancements and hot topics. Enroll yourself in webinars, watch podcasts, network and read what top professionals in the industry are talking about. Seek out ways to try out a newly learned skill.
5. Read, read, read
While this may sound like the point above, this is not the same. Read about subjects other than PR. Read about subjects that interest you and, yes, subjects that don’t necessarily interest you. Taking it a step further, read points of view different from your own. Challenge your thinking. And don’t forget to read as much as you can in trade publications and online about your clients’ industry and its hot topics.
6. Give back
Never be too busy to give back….whether that means mentoring a younger professional or supporting a cause near and dear to your heart. We are given many talents. It’s up to us to find ways to use them. Not only is it the right thing to do, but likely you will find it very personally rewarding, as well.
The Rountree Group team wishes you a happy and prosperous year!