Serious question – did you set a resolution for 2018? Have you been successful so far? Be honest. According to Statistic Brain, 41 percent of Americans usually make a New Year’s resolution and of those 42.4 percent fail completely. In fact, only 8 percent of people actually succeed at all.

Every January, people flock to the gym hoping to lose weight, get fit and live healthier. By the end of the month, more than half of those gym-goers have thrown in the towel, reverting to their previous year’s habits. But, ready for the good news? Those who make a resolution are 10 times more likely to be successful than those who never commit at all.

A survey conducted by Statista revealed, not surprisingly, the most common 2018 aspirations are: lose weight, eat healthier and save more money. Sounds pretty admirable, right? As I sat down to write out my own goals and resolutions for the year, it occurred to me how much of what we do in PR and media relations is like a resolution for some companies. Oftentimes, there is a lofty goal (more media coverage, more attendance at an event, etc.), however, much less time or financial investment is devoted to achieving those goals. And, because of that, they fail.

So, let’s take a look at what makes resolutions successful and how those can translate to marketing and PR goals for the year.


1. Specific Goals

Whether it’s losing weight or connecting with influencers, you need to be specific in what you actually want to achieve and what you consider a success. If you have a product you’d like to get out in front of social influencers, your goal could be:

Connect with 12 bloggers and marketing influencers in [industry] who will review or write about [product name.]

2. Measurement

You may have heard the saying, “if you can measure it, you can change it.” And, that’s certainly true. Once you know what you want to achieve, figure out how you’re going to measure progress. Say you want to use social media to attract more potential clients. You might measure your success along the way in terms of forms filled out via a landing page, engagement from your audience on your social channels or tracking how people found out about your business.

3. Patience and Perseverance

Depending upon your goal, it’s highly unlikely you’ll reach it overnight. If you want more earned media in 2018, understand that this takes time. It’s not like purchasing an ad and waiting for calls to come in, which hardly ever happens either. You have to craft your story and devise a plan to share it with those who matter while building relationships along the way. Sometimes, you’ll come across roadblocks or get frustrated because things don’t turn out exactly as you’d have liked. Persistence is key. Look at the bigger picture and make necessary changes. Maybe messaging needs tweaked or the timing needs to be adjusted. Small setbacks do not equal failure. It’s simply a part of the process and why we always encourage clients looking for earned media to have a long-term plan rather than focus on quick projects.

4. Reward Success

Celebrating small wins and victories is crucial to the process. Don’t wait until the end when the main goal has been achieved, chose critical points along the way and celebrate sticking to the plan. This can provide much-needed motivation when things get difficult – and they will.

In short, as you look ahead to your goals for 2018, keep these tips in mind to be in the elite 8 percent of people who keep their resolutions and make positive changes.

Our friends at HubSpot created this marketing planning template to help you align your marketing efforts with SMART goals. Download it below!

Here’s to a great year!