How is it 2019 already? It feels like 2018 went by in a flash. Now we’re all back to work, all I seem to be hearing about (and thinking about) are new year resolutions, creating plans and setting goals for the year. This inevitably got me thinking about PR plans for 2019 – both for my business and my clients’.
I know I bang on about this every year, but I’m going to say it again anyway. If you have a plan to grow your business in 2019 and you want it to succeed, PR is going to help you do it. If done right, PR can help you be seen by the right people, at the right time, through the right channel of communication – whatever that may be.
The key is to do PR activity that deliver real results for your business to support your plan for growth. But how can you do that? You need to make your PR work for you and in this blog I’ve listed 5 ways to do that.
#1: Plan plan plan
If you read my blogs regularly you’ll know by now that I’m a stickler for a plan. Knowing what you want to achieve for the year, what you’re going to do to make it happen and how you’ll measure it is really important if you want to make your PR activity work for your business (which I’m assuming you do as you’re reading this).
It could be that you want to develop your personal brand, position yourself your business or the business you work for as experts in certain sectors or maybe you have a series of campaigns you’re planning to launch – whatever the activity, make sure you have a plan so you know what you’re doing.
One thing to note here is that your plan can be fluid – the one you make today may have to change in 3 months because the needs of your customers, change in your focus or some changes outside of your business that are out of your control. Don’t worry, just adapt your plan.
#2: Be focused
It’s so easy to get distracted when potential new PR opportunities arise. Maybe you’ve been approached to write an article for a publication, to take part in a new collaboration or speak at an event. These all sound good, but here are my questions for you.
- Do these opportunities fit in with your plan?
- Will the people you’re targeting actually see you?
- Will it help you achieve your overall goals for the year?
If the answer to these questions are yes by all means go ahead. If the answer to any of them is a no then it’s time to pass over these opportunities. Why? Because everything you do to raise the profile of your business needs to help you get the results you want based on your PR plan (i.e. point number 1).
It’s so easy to get distracted by shiny new digital trends, being featured in magazines and seeing your name next to a headline, but if these activities don’t benefit your business in the long-term then it’s really not worth your time or effort. Don’t be afraid to say no to things like this so you can focus your time and money on things that will deliver the results you want.
#3: Keep up with the needs of your audiences
If the behaviour of your customers, prospects and other stakeholders change that will not only have an impact on your products or services, but also how you communicate with your audiences. It could be that they lose interest in Facebook and move over to Instagram – if they do you need to.
They might prefer to receive emails from you on a Wednesday morning rather than a Friday afternoon – if that’s the case, send your email on a Wednesday morning. Whatever they do, follow them so you can keep in tune with them.
Want to know the best way to do this? Ask them questions! Do a survey twice a year, post polls on your social media channels, open conversations online and offline.
#4: Build your digital presence
Whether you like it or not, digital marketing is here to stay and is now HUGELY influential for marketers and business owners looking to promote their brand. Your website, emails, social media channels and videos allow your audiences to get to know your business and how you present yourself online can either help you attract customers or lose them.
The focus for 2019 should be on building your digital footprint so your business is easy to find, your website is easy to navigate and your products / services are easy to buy. Do you notice the use of a certain word there? EASY.
The easier the process for online users the more likely they are to click that button to email you, download that eBook or buy your product or service.
#5: Show your personality
I’m going to be honest with you – I really don’t like some of the PR buzzwords everyone seems to be saying at the moment, especially when they use the word ‘authentic.’ It’s overused and quite often misunderstood when brands try to do it.
That being said, the premise behind it is something I really really (yes really really) think you need to consider this year. We live in a world where we have 280 characters or a filtered image to make a lasting impression and you need to make sure you create the right one if you want people to stop scrolling through their busy newsfeeds to pay attention to you.
The way to do this is to relay the personality behind your business. It needs to be one that suits you, fits with your customers and makes people buy into who you are – literally! You need to promote your business with a personality that is endearing. It needs to be you, your team and be reflected across all your branding.
If your customers meet you in person, you need to be the exact same personality as the one we see online. Show your personality in everything you write, everything you say and everything you post.
Does that sound straight forward? I hope it does because however minor you think these 5 things are to implement into your PR, I can guarantee that they’ll all make a massive difference to your business.
I would love to meet you on Instagram. Follow Kathryn | KD Communications to see my updates and feel free to share this post on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.
Do you need help planning your PR for 2019? I’m going live on Thursday 24th January 2019 at 3pm GMT to show you how to do just that. Book your place at my free training session, Unlock the power of PR for your business 2019 now.