2016 is here, and with it comes the all-too-familiar “new year, new me” mentality for most people. Gyms will be packed with new or returning members, supermarkets will experience shortages of low-fat foods, and self improvement books will fly off the shelves. It’s the same story, in a new calendar year. The season of New Years’ resolutions has set in.
For the PR pros out there, now is as good a time as any to take a look at our work and reassess, revamp and recommit to best practices. It’s no secret that our industry is demanding, competitive and at times, stressful. Here are several New Years’ resolutions for PR folks to consider as we move into 2016.
Eliminate blanket outreach to media.
Thats right. This year, make it a point to cut out the practice of blasting a press release or generic pitch to your entire list of media contacts. Instead, take the time to put careful thought into placing the best fits for your news on your outreach list. You’ll foster better relationships with your media contacts by making an effort to ensure that they only receive pitches / releases that are most applicable to them. It’s the 80/20 rule all over again; putting the time in upfront to ensure that your contact list is on point for a given announcement will yield much better results than a blanket email blast.
Lend a helping hand to new PR professionals.
At times in this industry, it’s difficult to make time to have a nutritious meal or to step out of the office for a walk, let alone carve out an hour to meet with recent graduates, job seekers and up-and-coming PR folks. Make it a goal to have drinks or a coffee with a junior staff member. Agree to an informational interview. Set up a meet and greet at your alma mater. You never know who you’ll connect with if you don’t take the time. Mentorships can be incredibly rewarding for both parties. And you never know when your organization might be in need of new talent.
In any industry sector – no matter how fun, intriguing, or competitive – comes with its doldrums. Too often, marketing and communications teams fall into a cycle of repeating campaigns, becoming comfortable with the stars quo and falling victim to ritual best practices. In 2016, take on the challenge of thinking outside the box for your organization or your clients. Learn from creative campaigns in other industries or verticals. Check out the competition for new ideas and inspiration. Heck, take a look at pop culture, Pinterest or Youtube for compelling ideas that might spark a creative streak that leads to breakthrough strategies and tactics for your organization or clients.
In the end, New Years’ resolutions are only impactful when they are top of mind. The best way to ensure that you stay the course is to set measurable goals and milestones for yourself. Write them down, keep them close, and revisit them each month.