By: Sara Davine & Ginney Kukankos
Public Relations, Strategic Communications and Creative Development Professionals
Happy New Year! If you’re like us, you’ve already hit the ground running with new ideas, plans and strategy to start strong in 2014.
Here are our suggestions for thinking about getting your public relations and creative communications and branding strategy for the year ahead:
1. Brainstorm – Take an hour and sit down with one or two of your colleagues and brainstorm ways to put yourself and your brand in the public eye. Think it’s too early to begin thinking about this? Get rid of that from your head. The sooner you start to think outside the box about ways to bring your company into the hands of your target audience, the better. Write your ideas down and separate long-term goals from short term ones. You may be able to begin acting on your ideas sooner than you think. This brings us to our second suggestion…
2. Make a To-Do List – Once you have ideas about general PR, communications and social media strategy, make a list. Separate your plans by immediate, mid-term and long-term timelines. This will also help you determine what you can do on your own (and when) and what you may need outside help with.
3. Develop Your Messaging – If you haven’t already done this, you should. Messaging does far more than support PR efforts – it’s critical for your business development and to define who you are (and what makes you different as a brand). Once your core messaging is in place, you’ll find you can speak more eloquently to what you offer and why you’re different. If you’ve already defined your messaging, it’s not a bad idea to take a minute to reevaluate it. Whether you’ve shifted directions as a company or new players have emerged in your space, this should be reflected in your overall company brand messaging. You can begin this process on your own, but we suggest bringing in some outside help from a PR professional who can help you streamline and define exactly what your messaging is based on a wide array of factors.
4. Talk to a Journalist – You may not be ready for your first company profile or feature story, but it can’t hurt to take advantage of insight from local journalists. Set a goal to talk to a journalist who regularly reports on tech (and/or whatever industry you’re in) to better understand what they’re looking for, what makes a great story for their beat, what’s interesting in the space and to begin developing a relationship. This will pay off ten-fold in the future.
5. Spotlight on Social Media – Social media is a crucial part of the bigger PR plan, and you should see utilizing social media as a way to supplement your strategic creative communications efforts. The best part about social media is that it’s really in your hands – create a calendar for posting across various social channels, utilize advertising and SEO optimization (ie: Facebook ads, Twitter promoted tweets, Google adwords, etc) and begin a regular blog to help your brand develop a voice and a following.
So go on, do it…start thinking about PR now and get a head start on preparing yourself for success down the line.