It’s natural for people to set goals to ensure a better and brighter future. You may have already pledged to stop hitting the snooze button, to put down the double-chocolate chip cookies (yum!) and to jump on the treadmill, but don’t forget to add some PR resolutions to your list.
Though we rang in the new year a week ago, the work new year began January 5 with the start of the first full work week of 2015. If you haven’t already, it’s time to make your PR resolutions.
Here are some ideas that may inspire you:
1. Become More Visual
You’ve heard it a million times; the future of PR is visual. The popularity of Instagram, Pinterest and redesigns of Facebook and Twitter to be visual-friendly shows that people want to be enticed by graphics, not necessarily words. However, if you’re like me – you’re no graphic designer. And as much as I’d love a graphic for everything I share on social, that’s just not realistic.
So what’s a PR pro to do?
Make it work! Fortunately, there are tons of tools that can help you discover your inner-artist, such as Canva for graphic design, Piktochart for infographics and GifBoom for creating addicting Gifs.
2. Listen and Ask Questions
It’s so easy to fall into the trap of bombarding your audience with content, content, content! If you’re lucky, you have tons of branded content to share, whether it’s a blog post, event or product update. However PR isn’t about blasting information.
Appreciate your audience. Listen to what they have to say and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Not only will it help fine-tune your brand’s strategy, you’ll actually be able to better deliver what your customers really want.
Let your industry help you decide your questions. If you offer products, ask your customers for feedback, how they use the product, and what they’d like to see in future versions. Food or lifestyle, ask for photos relating to your services or to share recipes during the holidays.
Since our audience is full of PR and social media experts, we like to find out what they think about some industry scenarios or strategies.
We got some pretty great answers from one recent question.
— Kerry O’Shea Gorgone (@KerryGorgone) November 14, 2014
.@Cision Understand that you shouldn’t admit fault if you’re not at fault but you SHOULD show empathy toward upset customers.
— Mack Collier (@MackCollier) November 14, 2014
@Cision Ask your comms team to prepare a tough questions doc – & figure out a short chain of command for decisionmaking ahead of time!
— Malaka Gharib (@MalakaGharib) November 14, 2014
@Cision Plan ahead with Comms leadership exactly what role social will play during crisis, who is doing what, plan holding key messages
— Karen Richards (@SocialGrrrl) November 14, 2014
Not only did we get a lively conversation by asking for our audience’s expertise, we can repurpose it for future content ideas and as an added, unplanned bonus, we even got some media coverage!
3. Stop Moaning About Algorithm Changes
Get some social media managers around a water cooler, or a bar, and you’ll undoubtedly hear horror stories, social media fears and gripes about how Facebook is essentially moving to a pay to play model.
If Facebook’s diminishing organic reach hasn’t spelled out the truth for PR and marketing professionals, allow me. Social media sites cater to people, not businesses. There are too many people fighting for limited newsfeed space. People are the reason brands are even on social networks, not the reverse.
What’s a PR pro to do?
Don’t jump off social networks just yet. They are after all where your audience hangs out.
Change your strategy.
Instead of treating these “rented” network as the sole home for your community, think of it as a stepping stone for getting them to your owned properties.
Email addresses are still valuable. This is the one activity people check all the time. Use social media to nurture your audience to joining your owned properties such as becoming a blog subscriber.
Let’s face it, social networks are great, but any of them can go the MySpace route. Getting “Likes” and “Retweets” cannot be your end goal, rather a way to enticing your community to further the relationship with your brand by joining your owned community.
4. Push the Envelope
This is the year to challenge yourself to go big or go home. Play smart, but not safe. Take chances, learn, make mistakes and grow. You owe it to your brand and audience to go above and beyond. Will you be the next Oreo or Arby’s of the Twitterverse?
Call a meeting, order some pizza and brainstorm how you can take your PR campaigns to the next level in 2015.
Happy New Year!
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