While “New Year, New You” seems great in theory, it is not entirely applicable for a PR Pro. It’s evident that PR strategy is more dynamic now than ever before due big shifts in society, technology, and business. However, while the public relations landscape is constantly evolving due to technological advancements driving changes in consumer behavior, the primary PR fundamentals will remain the same, with very little “new” to incorporate.
PR is focused on elevating awareness and shaping brand reputation in the minds of consumers. It also remains rooted in understanding internal and external brand factors, identifying target audiences and key messaging, developing goals and tactics, implementing campaigns, and of course, tracking and measuring results. Thus, New Year’s Resolutions for PR Pros in 2023 should be focused on building upon existing expertise. Here are a few aspects to tune into to ensure a “New Year, Enhanced You” for the PR Pro.
Commit to Upskilling
The world of public relations is ever-changing, and as a PR expert, your personal knowledge and professional development should be constantly evolving alongside it. This continuous learning will ensure that you are expanding your capabilities and bringing the latest tools, resources, and information to deliver efficient, effective, and innovative PR campaigns to your clients. Below are two key ways to ensure that you are continuing to upskill your craft to deliver top notch service to clients:
- Track the trends. Staying current with the happenings in public relations is imperative to your success. One way to stay on top in your career is to join a local chapter of a professional development organization, such as Public Relations Society of America and International Association of Business Communicators, that holds regular events on a variety of relevant topics. Also, follow on social and subscribe to some of the top publications focused on PR news, such as O’Dwyer’s, PR Moment, Reputation Today, and Inc. Public Relations.
- Freshen up your skills by taking a new PR course. There are several free courses online that focus on new topics and trends in public relations and communications. PRNews provides a great outline of a dozen free courses to take online in 2023, covering vital topics such as mastering digital PR and working with the media.
Reach the Right Reporters
Today’s digital world has created more distractions than ever, largely because it’s also expanded reach and accessibility for brands and professionals alike. Gone are the days of dialing a phone number and getting a busy signal because the person you’re trying to reach is on the other line. Nowadays, dozens of emails can hit an inbox at any given moment with the click of a button. That results in reporters receiving hundreds of pitches via emails a day, which can be frustrating for them and may result in your pitch getting lost in the noise. Make 2023 the year that you perfect cutting through that clutter to reach reporters with these tips.
- Establish connections before reaching out with a need or ask. Follow the reporter on social, listen to their interests/views, like and engage with their posts and most importantly, read their coverage.
- Stay on top of relevant news and opportunities to insert your client in the coverage, and be sure to be timely with your outreach. This also involves thoroughly understanding your client, its business, products, and services.
- Tailor and personalize your pitch to capture the interest of the reporter you are trying to reach. Shape the headline and the pitch specifically for the reporter’s audience so they can easily visualize the published story.
Taking these steps will help you stand out from other “spam” in a packed inbox, and ultimately, secure coverage for your clients.
Attend Industry Events
Commit this year to getting out of your comfort zone and attending some of the top industry events touching your clients. Aside from the obvious learning opportunity to enhance your understanding of their businesses, there are two other main benefits to attending these events:
- Connect with clients. In today’s remote environment, there are very rare opportunities to connect with clients in person and deepening these relationships through a computer screen can be a challenge. Attending industry events gives the opportunity to spend longer amounts of time with your client beyond regular, agenda-focused update calls to get to know them on not just a more professional level, but a personal one. It’s also always a good idea to share a meal at these events with your client. This helps you get to know our clients as people—who they are, their interests, their professional background and experience, and more you may have never known before.
- Meet with media. At most of the larger industry events, there are a ton of media in attendance. Similar to connecting with clients, this helps build stronger relationships with reporters. Chatting with journalists in person allows for them to put a face to a name. These connections will help you stand out the next time you email the reporter—and of course, be sure to reference your in-person exchange in that note. These events also help the media build relationships with your clients and brands, positioning them as a potential go-to source for future stories.
Oprah Winfrey said it best, “Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” Getting it right – getting it best – is what we all aim to do for our clients, and focusing on these resolutions are the right steps to put PR Pros on that path in 2023.