PR Resolutions for 2014

Planit Agency
January 15, 2014

As we settle into 2014, many of us develop resolutions based on what we’ve learned from the past year—from social media crises, to media interviews gone wrong, to the changing definition of “success” for PR and social clients in an increasingly digital world. Here are a few I’m focusing on this year:

Mind Your Audiences

Brand journalism, the act of marketers using digital publishing and social media tools to speak to consumers (what some refer to as content marketing), will continue to grow in popularity. It’s an opportunity for PR professionals, whether in-house or on the agency side, to tell their client’s story and go beyond traditional media relations efforts and a Facebook page. Today, it is essential to have an audience-centric mindset. Businesses need to determine who their key audience is and remember that their customers are always thinking “WIFM” (what’s in it for me?). Every piece of content—tweet, blog post, status update, media pitch, Instagram video—should provide value to the end user. Dedicate proper resources to this step. Allot an increased budget for content development for tactics like video and photos to make them resonate with your audiences on the platforms on which they are communicating. It will be worthwhile in the end.

Listen to Your Team

What is a Facebook fan worth? How many Twitter followers saw that post? Why aren’t we on Instagram? We hear this all the time. Just as social media is in a constant state of change, so are the answers to these questions. Listen to your social media team. Include them in your brand’s overarching communications strategy. They’re the ones on the front lines, engaging with the fan base and surfacing opportunities for strategic social conversations. When it comes to developing a communications strategy for 2014, make sure these people are in the room and feel that they are heard. Their feedback will ensure that you are reaching your key audiences exactly where they prefer to be, and with a dialogue they want to be a part of.

Brush Up on Your Analytics Skills

Gone are the days when PR pros were solely responsible for reporting media impressions. Whether you are a media relations pro or managing an integrated project, clients/bosses want to know what the ROI of your efforts is—whether it be PR, social media, email, or other marketing tactics. It’s best to outline KPIs and ROI during the strategy phase and get buy-in from all parties. Get creative—impressions, fans, and reach are not always the answer. In order to prove success, PR pros need to have access to more sources of data. Have an analytics team? Lucky you. Become friends with them, and get to know your web developers. It’s important for the PR team to get an understanding of how analytics plays a role in the communications strategy.

Live in the Now

Remember the success of the Oreo blackout tweet during the Super Bowl? More marketers will be using real-time responsive communication to stay relevant and reach audiences on social media (and beyond). Marketers need to have the team and strategy in place to take advantage of real-time opportunities when they can be applied to their client or business. A recent example of this is when Denny’s tweeted to Auburn fans after the National Championship Game, letting them know about each Denny’s location on their route home. Football and Denny’s might not have an obvious tie-in, but savvy marketers saw an opportunity to tie the brand to a national event and inserted themselves into the right conversation at the right time.