Are You PR Ready for the New Year?

A new year always brings a wave of resolutions. And while many of these are personal goals, it’s important to also have a clear set of resolutions for growing your business and your clients’ business. Here, we look at 10 tips to be PR ready in the new year.

1. Make sure you have editorial calendars for 2014. Editorial calendars are essential to knowing what editors will be looking for each month. Use these calendars to pitch timely stories and products and stay on top of deadlines.

2.Be aware of lead times. National magazines have a much different schedule than local broadcast or online outlets. Make sure you know what issue these publications are working on to avoid missing any opportunities.

3. Introduce new products. If you have a new product for 2014, launch it ASAP! Local broadcast, newspapers and online outlets will still be looking for content in January and February, which is the perfect time to announce a new product. Longer-lead publications will look for new products throughout the year, so stay on top of all outlets.

4. Know the trends. Pantone recently announced 2014’s color of the year—Radiant Orchid. Use these trends to your advantage. If you have a product that fits that color description, pitch it! Editors and producers will be looking for a variety of products and services relevant to the now-famous color throughout the year.

5. Update your contacts. While it’s always important to keep your Rolodex (you have one, right?) current, the new year is a good time to make sure your contacts are still accurate.

6. Be prepared for trade shows. Mark your calendars with all trade shows and client events so they don’t sneak up on you. Give yourself a month’s reminder to be sure you have everything in order.

7. Look for strategic partnerships. Think outside the box for new opportunities and partnerships that will help your company or your client’s company. These can often be negotiated on a tit-for-tat basis to benefit all parties involved.

8. Research new business opportunities. Look into new businesses, local companies, startups, individuals doing interesting things. Think about an industry or specific company you’re interested in working with and find out everything you can about them. Still interested? Reach out and make an introduction.

9. Read. Here’s another one that should happen throughout the year: staying on top of current events. If you find yourself falling out of touch with things that matter, build or strengthen a routine that includes daily doses of the most relevant information. Make your homepage The New York Times, set up an RSS feed, do something to make it a convenient part of your daily routine. It’s crucial to (a) be knowledgeable in your industry (b) avoid pitching when breaking news has happened (c) know what the media is most likely to cover.

10. Reflect on successes and mishaps of the previous year. Take some time to look back at what worked well and what could be improved. Pursue more of what worked, and drop what didn’t. Wishing you and your clients a successful 2014!

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