I’m not a big fan of resolutions. They are so easy to make and so hard to keep. Eat less, spend less, exercise more and get organized. They all seem to center around self-deprivation and denial. I know it’s good for me, but sticking to it day-to-day isn’t a walk on the beach. Still the beginning of the year does get me thinking about what I can do better. How I can improve and what steps I need to take to do that.
It’s a time to look at yourself personally, but also professionally. I work with a lot of clients on public relations and time and time again I see the same simple ways they could easily step up their public relations strategy with just a little bit of effort. I am talking about the low-hanging fruit that too many companies just don’t take the time to grab. Here are three things I think you could do this year to get more recognition and attention in your industry and community.
#1 – K.I.S.S.
I have always thought that when Einstein said, “If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough” he was referring to news (press) releases. I know he wasn’t. He was probably talking about some complex theorem, but it’s still the same concept. You should be able to write a news release about your products or services that the average person can understand. That means cutting the jargon, simplifying and saying it in plain English. Save the tech talk for the spec sheet or the white paper. Making your releases complex doesn’t get you points. In fact, it loses you readers. Of course, this means the people writing your releases also have to understand the products and service well enough to explain them simply.
#2 — A picture is worth a thousand words
Photos, graphics, videos aren’t just the icing on the cake anymore. They’re more like the baking soda that makes the cake rise. Instagram just announced it has more users than Twitter; Twitter posts with photos get retweeted more often; and selfies are more ubiquitous as the smart phones that take them. Photos for a news release, media kit and event or product announcement shouldn’t be an afterthought. They increase coverage of your public relations efforts to the point that they should be just an automatic part of the process. Put it on your PR checklist and try to think in terms of good photo opps. And take it beyond the standard product shot.
#3 – Stay on top of digital and social media efforts
Continuous content is the most crucial element for success in a digital or social media campaign. A steady flow of good blogs, Facebook or Twitter content really makes the difference between success and falling flat. The New Year is a great opportunity to put together a social/digital media calendar. Calendars should be flexible and subject to change, but there are some dates that you can map out in advance. Start with any holidays you want to acknowledge on your social platform. Then add in any industry event like tradeshows or seminars, conferences and training sessions. Next, fill in with upcoming announcements or rollouts. By developing a calendar in advance you have a plan to build on and that makes it easier to keep your momentum.
Done right these three things can really make a difference. They take a little time, but very little money and you should begin to notice a difference pretty quickly.