Happy New Year! Now what?

Happy New Year! It’s 2013, and I’m sure we all have our New Year’s resolutions in hand and are making great progress. But does your business have its New Year’s resolutions nailed down? If not, I have a few to get you started – PR resolutions for 2013.

Be active in social media!

So, you had a couple of months last year during which you were active on Facebook and built up a significant following. Then, crickets were chirping… Things got busy and you weren’t able to keep up with it. Resolve for 2013 to get active again, because if you’re not in the conversation, you’re not relevant. Assign someone internally (or hire a PR firm) to manage your social media interactions and monitor them daily. There’s nothing worse than non-response and inactivity on a business’s social media page.

Build relationships with the news media.
It’s important to remember that behind every newspaper is a person. And building relationships with the individual reporters who write about your industry is a key to getting media coverage in the future. Be sure that you’re reaching out to introduce yourself, your expertise and your business before you have news. And when you do have news, ensure that it’s timely and newsworthy.

No more last-minute PR campaigns!
Remember: timely and newsworthy. Haphazard PR is never effective. Take time to think through any important news items for the year and lay out on a timeline. Then, incorporate at least four to six weeks for PR efforts related to an event and up to three months for major announcements, such as expansions, acquisitions or leadership changes. This is where a great PR partner can be an advantage.

Communicate with your front-line employees to ensure message alignment.
Your customer service and point-of-sales employees do need to be “in the know” when it comes to major business decisions affecting their job focus. Is the marketing department planning a Groupon campaign? Are you running a special for social media only? What about a major acquisition of a competitor? It’s important that the people who interact with your customers daily know about these before being caught off guard by a question or comment. Or media phone call. Regular internal communication is important, and an annual ambassador training to reinforce customer service tactics and discuss overall goals for the year is always a good idea to add to the mix.

These will help get you on the road to PR success for 2013!