The beginning of a new year presents a great opportunity to reevaluate what success looks like to your company. Success and strategic planning go hand in hand when it comes to ultimate public relations success (shocking, I know). Strategic planning goes beyond creating social assets and media materials. We’re talking about executing your strategy when the time is right, and that means evaluating the upcoming media landscape, and analyzing how you can get ahead to stay on top of the media.
2024 is anticipated to be a big year. Here in Philadelphia, we are witnessing the first term of our very first woman Mayor, Cherelle Park. Nationally, we are prepping for an election year. I’ve outlined a few ways you can be proactive with your PR efforts.
Stay on top of trends. Before a new year begins, I create a spreadsheet for every client that outlines trends relevant to their brand. Try doing a good old-fashioned Google search to see if any fun/significant months/weeks/days throughout the year tie into your brand. For example, March 3rd-9th is Women in Construction week. For a construction client, we might pitch a woman on the team to speak to local media about how to overcome the barriers of being a woman in the field.
Awards talk. Many trade publications and local outlets have annual awards that are great for thought leadership positioning. Identify one to two awards each quarter that fit your niche and create a thoughtful application. The Philadelphia Business Journal runs several awards each year, and the honorees are celebrated at a grand ceremonial event in the Spring/Summer. City & State PA also announces several diverse Power Lists each year.
Utilize Editorial Calendars. Trade publications typically produce an editorial calendar that gets released between November and December so that advertisers and PR practitioners can plan their materials accordingly. Bylines can be time-consuming to create, so I recommend aiming for one per quarter. To learn more about editorial calendars (also sometimes referred to as media kits), check out Associate Vice Principal Emily Kanter’s guide on how to properly utilize them here. If you need some help with crafting your byline pitch, consider reading Senior Account Executive Tom McParland’s blog on how to create a successful pitch here.
Think outside the box. Are there ways your company can connect to current news? This tactic is known as newsjacking, a PR term that refers to joining the conversation while promoting your brand. Journalists are always in need of credible sources who can provide insight. Reach out to journalists and offer your expertise on what they’re covering.
You don’t have to rely on journalists to get noticed. Yes, working with journalists lifts the work on your end. However, we know that newsrooms are getting smaller as are journalists’ capacities. Get creative with your social media and prioritize the platforms where your target audience is most active. LinkedIn is a great tool where you can publish your byline and if you have the budget, boost the post. This goes in conjunction with training your employees on how to use social platforms to amplify your brand. For more on how to demonstrate thought leadership without relying on traditional media, check our Account Director Emily White’s blog here, or check out her blog on how to use LinkedIn for business development here.
Successful PR planning begins with knowing your goals. Once you’ve identified them, you can move forward with how you’re going to reach them. And if you need a little help, we’re here to make your PR dreams come true.