With 2012 a couple of weeks away, people from across the country are in the process of deciding what their New Year’s Resolutions will be for the year. Whether the resolution is related to fitness, healthy eating, financial growth or spending more time with family, a new year gives everyone the chance to have a fresh start and work to accomplishing personal or work goals they have set for themselves. As PR professionals, the New Year means we can reevaluate our PR tactics and resolve to make ourselves the best PR Pros we can be, both for our agency/company and for our clients. I have compiled a few of my New Year’s Resolutions and hope that it will inspire you to reevaluate your work methods and strive for excellence in 2012.
1. Network, Network, Network!
We all say it time and time again, “I’m too busy to go to this networking event.” But often, when we do engage, we often learn best practices, meet new and intelligent people and often times, meet individuals that could often turn into future clients. At Trevelino/Keller, it is our goal as an agency for our teams to attend more industry events, professional development opportunities and/or networking events in order to better ourselves in 2012. The more you have the opportunity to meet with individuals in the industry you serve, the more ideas you can bring to the table for your company.
2. More Reading
Now, this one is often not so tough for people to buy off on! As a PR Pro, you are probably reading papers or magazines daily (especially from your phone or iPad) and at home, you often may curl up at night to your favorite chick-lit book or read through your favorite sports analysts’ tweets. In 2012, take the time to choose books to read that make you smarter! We have a Read-to-Lead program at our office that encourages everyone to read six books a year from a list of top PR, social media and business books. It’s a great way to get your team involved and allow for creative thinking.
3. Being Healthy and Fitness Minded!
I don’t know about most PR pros, but I often am on the run to various meetings, so I will grab fast food for lunch or I will eat at my desk at lunch in order to not lose my gusto while writing press releases or outreaching to media. Although you may think that doing this allows you to be a better worker, often having an unhealthy lunch will lead to a tired and less productive afternoon. Take the time each week to plan meals for your lunches and sit away from your desk to eat, even if it is just 15 minutes. When you are out to eat with coworkers or clients, make healthier choices. Also, grab a couple of coworkers a couple days of week and join a yoga class or fitness gym. The healthier you feel, the happier and more productive you will become. Your mind and your body will thank you.
4. Unplug Regularly
As most people can attest, I am very guilty of being glued to my phone. My husband often grills me about how often I check email or Facebook. With the world of iPads and Droids, technology has become a helpful tool in keeping us updated at any time of the day. With that said, technology can also hurt some of our creative thinking. I urge you to take time each week and unplug from technology. At work, hold a brainstorm session or write a pitch without using any form of technology, including Google! It’s amazing what our minds will come up with and it will encourage full participation from your team members.
5. Stay Organized
I often start each year extremely organized, including clearing my inbox, straightening my desk and purchasing a funny desk calendar to keep me laughing throughout the year. Unfortunately when Q2 rolls around, I often let the daily tasks of work get in the way and become only semi-organized through the remainder of the year. This year, I plan on taking the time at the end of each month to reevaluate my organizational skills. As most PR pros know, public relations is all about the art of multi-tasking and staying organized will not only help you, but will also ultimately help you to better serve your clients.
6. Gain More Media Coverage For My Clients
The ultimate goal for every PR pro – to gain more media attention for their clients – is often not only a personal goal, but a goal for the agency or company you may work for. One of my resolutions is to not only gain more coverage but also really take the time to build relationships with the key media I work with. Instead of overwhelming myself with building relationships with every media contact I may come in contact with over a given year, I urge you to take the time to select a handful of your key media each month and really get to know them and what they cover. Write to them, introduce yourself and your client, follow them on twitter and really deliver compelling and relevant pitches to them going forward. Whatever media you choose, be sure to create a list of these contacts at the beginning of the year and really make it your goal to end 2012 with more relationships with media, which will ultimately lead to more coverage for your clients.
As any PR Pro knows, social media is one of the most important tools that we can utilize in our everyday lives. One of my New Year’s Resolutions to become more social on these various sites, specifically my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. Although I have these pages and tweet and update daily, I do not feel that I am as engaged as I should be. My goal is to provide more compelling content for my followers and friends and meet new industry professionals and media contacts through these sites. Not only will doing this help me to become a better social media practitioner, but I also will be exposed to new social media tools, insightful articles and engaging people on a daily basis.
8. To Infinity and Beyond
My last and most all-encompassing goal for 2012 is to go above the norm for my clients each and every day in 2012. As most PR pros know, with multiple clients and a lot of creative thinking, it is very easy to do what we are good at and not provide outside-the-box thinking as often as we should. At T/K, one of constant goals is to go above and beyond for our clients each and every day. Whether that is securing more media coverage, stretching our writing to go beyond press releases or providing more creative ideas, we strive to be a committed partner our clients and I strive any PR professional to do the same as they enter this New Year.
I hope that these eight resolutions not only gave you an insight into my New Year’s Resolutions for 2012, but also may help other PR professionals interested in delivering more for your team and clients this year.
By, Kelly Ronna | @karonna