Our personal and professional goals are often more interrelated than we may realize at first pass. When our business is thriving, it supports our financial and emotional health. When it is underperforming it can lead to harmful stress responses and require us to spend time away from our loved ones.
While it’s no secret that establishing a clear PR strategy is key to any robust annual plan, it can be easy to forget that these goals can, and often do, fall by the wayside as quickly as our personal resolutions tend to.
As humans we often forget how easy it is to bring personal habits like eschewing our resolutions into the business environment. This is especially true when it comes to completing something less tangible like “good PR”.
Fortunately, just like in our personal lives, the New Year brings fresh energy and focus just as our goals and aspirations are coming into view. Here are a few tips to help you capitalize on this wave and ride it all the way to 2017.
- Look back, then look forward
As you begin outlining your top PR priorities for the coming year, it’s a good idea to revisit your work from the previous year. Start by looking at the goals you outlined for 2015. See which were successful and analyze why. In some cases this will provide a nice roadmap for what’s ahead. If something is still lingering, talk with your publicist about whether it should remain a goal for 2016. Or if it’s still “pending” because it was ultimately unsuccessful, don’t be afraid to dissect it a bit and extract those lessons as well.
- Pinpoint your Top Priorities and Write Them Down
When setting PR goals, it’s always best to devote your focus and limited time to those aspects that will yield the greatest reward. Work with your publicist to determine which journalists, media outlets and influencers align best with your brand. If you have in mind a certain reach, circulation or number of articles you’d like to see placed, be realistic and most importantly, be sure to write it down. It will help keep that goal fresh in your mind and hone your team’s actions towards its end. Even short bulleted points can help keep your team on track and accountable for the progress.
Some creative ways of putting these goals to paper include:
- Displaying them on your phone’s lock screen
- Drafting an email and scheduling it to be sent to your inbox at the beginning of each work day
- Affixing your goal list to a place you see every day like your bathroom mirror
- Rewriting your goals each month including a line for why you want to achieve them
- Creating a voice recording on your smartphone that you play for yourself on your commute
- Drawing a calendar with specific ‘deadline’ dates by which certain critical tasks will be completed
- Use a project management site like Asana to track your goals and analyze your progress
- Get Specific about your Plan of Action
Even with the clearest list of goals fleshed out, you can expect to hit a roadblock or two before you hit your end result. Be it a delay in an editor’s approval or response to your pitch or tough feedback or rejection from your dream outlet, charting a clear course of action and having a solid plan B are vital.
As you get started, answering these sample questions will help you plot out your action plan. (Make sure you take heed of #1 and be sure to write down your answers!)
- Which resources will help me active my goal?
- How much time will it require?
- How much money will I need to budget?
- What does the team look like? (Be specific on the size and type of team you’ll need.)
- Will I need other kinds of support to complete my goal?
- What research do I need to do and what research to I need to delegate?
- Where can I turn for sound advice along the way?
- When and where should I begin?
Ultimately, it’s important to measure your results, but keep in mind that even with the clearest course of action the fruition of these resolutions takes time. Re-evaluate your PR goals and plans mid-year and don’t be afraid to course correct when you find something isn’t working. Here’s to a happy, healthy and successful 2016.