As we hurtle towards the end of 2014 much of my last month has been reviewing the work we’ve done over the past year so we can build on the successes and prepare for an even bigger and better 2015. With that in mind I thought I’d take this opportunity to jump on the New Year’s resolutions bandwagon and offer my top PR resolutions to help you ensure next year gets off to a headline grabbing start:
1. Review your communications strategy. Take a good look at your communications activity from the past year and be honest about what has and hasn’t worked. Are there things you could have done differently or improved upon? A communications audit might help with these answers.
If you didn’t have a communications strategy for 2014 then this will help focus you for the year ahead…..
2. Create a PR strategy. A PR strategy will help you be far more targeted and will steer you in the right direction to ensure you’re talking to the right audience in the right way. Set yourself some clear goals and make a plan and stick to it.
3. Celebrate success. New client wins, award success, new starters or products or services all provide the opportunity to profile your business in a positive way.
4. Read the news. Be that your local newspapers, national news or trade press relevant to your sector. Knowledge is power and understanding your industry and what your target media writes about will help you recognise what you need to do to get a bite of the cherry.
5. Try a new platform. A lot of businesses are successfully using Facebook and Twitter but are there other platforms out there which could further help you connect with your audience? Make sure you stay one step ahead of your competitors and explore alternative platforms such as Vine or Instagram which has seen a huge increase in active users and has recently overtaken Twitter.
6. Speak to your customers. This might sound obvious but how often do you speak to your clients or customers? Are they happy? Do you know what they need? If you even hesitated before answering any of these questions then 2015 needs to be the year you contact your customers more often.
7. Network. It can become far too easy to get caught up with the day-to-day activities of running a business or attending networking events with the same circle of people. Prepare a schedule of networking events you can attend in 2015 – aiming for one a month. Make sure these are relevant to you and your business; requesting a delegate list or agenda prior to attending might help.
8. Keep an eye out for key milestones. Scope out a timeline including key milestones for your business and the industry you operate in. Once these have been identified you should have a consistent list of opportunities to connect with your audience.
9. Become a public speaker. Speaking at relevant conferences and events is a great way to position yourself and your company as a thought-leader in your industry. Start off by choosing a relevant topic you feel confident talking on and then identify networking groups which provide opportunities for guest speakers to attend.
10. Make sure your website content is up-to-date. Your company’s website is often the first glimpse a potential customer gets of your business. As you head into 2015, make sure the content is the best is can possibly be.
I hope these simple tips prove useful; here’s to a happy and successful 2015!