Your New Year’s PR Resolutions

Whether it’s monitoring your gin intake or finally investing in that gym membership (ideally, one that’s so expensive you’ll hate yourself a bit more if you don’t use it), nothing kicks our backsides into gear quite like a New Year’s resolution. When it comes to PR, it’s easy to slip into the same old habits or bouts of laziness. So, from getting off your hind and going to networking dos, to always taking your PR pro’s advice, here are a few suggested PR resolutions for 2020:

Go to more networking events

When you’ve been to a lot of them, networking events can all begin to feel a bit samey. You get your glad rags on, have a drink, and schmooze with complete strangers with all the awkwardness of an online date. Well, if you’re not much of a schmoozer, anyway.

While 9 out of 10 networking events might result in no useful contacts, it only takes one chance meeting to make a difference to your brand or business. Do you really want to miss out on that? Of course not. Resist the cosy night in with Netflix, put on your PR pants, and get out there.

Don’t let a scandal simmer

Scandals, scandals, scandals. Whether it’s getting caught in an ‘awkward position’ or having an offensive Tweet dredged up from 2011, the cancel culture-loving witch hunters of today are the bane of any PR pro – and they’re not an easy bunch to soothe.

Whether it’s a brand or an individual, no client is immune from facing controversy. So it makes absolute sense to have a crisis strategy in place long before a scandal arises. And if it does, deal with it as quickly as possible. Remember the basic rules: admit responsibility, apologise sincerely, and execute a satisfactory solution.

Listen to your PR pro   

The Prince Andrew interview was easily the biggest PR blunder of 2019, and the entire screw-up could have been curtailed if he’d listened to his PR advisor’s advice and not done it. Unfortunately, Prince Andrew felt he knew best, which ultimately destroyed the remaining fragments of his credibility, and turned him into a walking meme.

While his PR guru Jason Stein was firm to the point of quitting, it’s vital that PR pros communicate the risks when the stakes are this high. Likewise, clients need to remember that PR pros know best, and keep themselves in business by making the right decisions for clients. Listen. And take their advice.

Look to past successes

While it’s easy whiling away the hours engaging in creative brainstorms or trying to conjure up fresh new strategies, being innovative isn’t always the key to success. Getting caught up in trying to find the most innovative solution can be a hindrance rather than a help.

So whether it’s an immaculate campaign or a clever marketing move, take the time to look back over your past successes and evaluate why they worked for you – and, if appropriate – utilise those tried-and-true tactics again.

Be reactive

With the constant bombardment of information these days, the public have a shorter attention span for news than ever before. Consequently, reactive opportunities come and go in a flash. But if you’re lucky enough to turn one to your advantage, you could be on to a winner. Lego executed this brilliantly last year, with their smashing response to the disastrous unveiling of Elon Musk’s Cybertruck.

In 2020, make sure your team keep themselves up-to-date with the latest happenings on the interweb, and implement an airtight response protocol for reactive ‘newsjacking’. That way, when something pops up, your team can pounce on it before it gets away.

Go old-school and forge human connections

Whether it’s with the press or brands, most PR business tends to be conducted by email or phone. This is all well and good for getting things done in the present, but slightly less so when it comes to forging strong working relationships that last well into the future.

For the new decade, opt for a more face-to-face approach where possible. Keep things human and personable, and it can pay dividends years from now – both for client, PR professionals and media contacts.

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