Strategic communication and public relations are critical enterprises that should be re-evaluated frequently. Unfortunately, organizations often adopt strategic communication plans and simply attempt to execute those plans with fidelity month after month, year after year. And, too often there is little reflection on whether those plans are actually working and should be re-examined until perhaps a crisis or a major event occurs within their industries that forces the attention.
The beginning of a new year is an opportune time to examine the effectiveness of your public relations and ensure that 2018 is a high-impact year for your organization’s brand and public relations. Just like with personal New Year’s resolutions, identify and shed what isn’t yielding positive results, and adopt and execute new tactics.
Price Lang suggests five ways you can immediately pep up your organization’s PR and get 2018 off to a great start.
1. Review your goals. Are your goals the same for 2018 as they were for 2017? What has changed in your industry that presents new opportunities – or challenges – that should be reflected in your goals? Moreover, did 2017 exceed your expectations, or did you fall short of your goals? With some modifications to your PR tactics, it’s likely public relations could do more for your organization in 2018 than you realize.
2. Reacquaint yourself with your target audience. How is your target audience evolving? As new cultural trends occur every year that impact our target audience’s preferences, behaviors, expectations and generational identity, ensure your public relations tactics and strategies are keeping pace.
3. Examine your messaging platforms. How do your current messaging platforms line up with your goals and the platforms your target audiences frequent? Explore whether there have been significant changes to the platforms you are using and whether those changes are enhancing or suppressing messages reaching your target audience. For example, major changes to Facebook’s algorithms occurred in 2017. Have you analyzed how they impacted your social media efforts?
4. Hone your visual storytelling. Target audiences have more immediate and emotional responses to visual storytelling. Are you utilizing video, photos and information graphics in your communications? Are you coordinating these tools across platforms, on your website and in your events and speaking engagements? For more information about some great apps for visual storytelling, click here.
5. Establish metrics. Don’t wait to January 2019 to evaluate whether your efforts in 2018 worked. Revisit your metrics often, ideally once a month, to analyze what is and isn’t working.