Staying on top of your PR Game in 2019

Staying on top of your PR Game in 2019

Feeling on top of your PR game after a successful 2018? Congrats! But how do you keep the momentum going for your brand in the new year?
In this highly competitive and fast-moving industry, it’s important to not sit on your laurels. Keeping the momentum going is imperative to stay top of mind with key audiences and one-step ahead of your competitors.
 
Below are some tips on how to ensure your brand stays on top of its PR game for 2019.
 
A Year in Review
 
With year-end around the corner, it’s a good time to reflect on the passing year in terms of what you did well, what needs to be tweaked or changed up. And, be honest! If a specific launch or campaign hit it out of the park, then decide what you need to do to keep the momentum going. But if it proved to be lackluster then take a moment with your team – both internal and external – to discuss why the campaign didn’t hit the mark with key audiences and what you could’ve done differently. Or if you need to change up your strategy all together. At C&C we always do an internal post-campaign huddle immediately following each client initiative and while its still fresh in our minds. Here we discuss what we loved about the campaign, what we might do differently and key learnings. We create an internal document to use as reference for when we are in planning mode for the next initiative or year. This proves to be a useful exercise for all those involved as it provides a check-list of what we should revisit, tweak or change to guarantee success moving forward.
 
Prioritize
 
As much as we’d all love to do it all – we know realistically from a resource, time and budget standpoint we can’t. So, it’s important to prioritize what your top communications objectives are for the new year so that you can realistically allocate resources and budget from the start. Prioritizing also helps you to build your strategic roadmap for the new year where you can map out what your initiatives will be each month – along with roles and responsibilities and deadlines to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. Now we know there is always twists and turns in our industry, so this should be considered a living and breathing document that is subject to change.
 
Spread the Word
 
A critical success factor to any relationship is communications. And, once you’ve prioritized your key communications objectives its important to share that information with all parties to ensure everyone is working towards a common goal. Even if it’s a hint of an idea that still needs to be flushed out – it is key to give your PR team a head’s up, so they can start brainstorming and planning. Plus do their research to ensure competitors haven’t beat you to the punch. As many of us know something that is six months out comes fast and furious – especially in the communications world. So, you need your PR team ready to hit the ground running. The above-mentioned strategic roadmap is also helpful when spreading the word to keep everyone focused and on the same timelines.
 
Competitive Analysis
 
For your brand to stand-out as a leader and innovator – and, not a follower – you need to have a clear, concise story to tell. And, you need to be in the know of what your competitors are doing and if they’ve gotten a jump start on you with media and influencers. If they have, then you need to look at areas that have not yet been addressed by your competitors and are of interest to your target audiences to help you stand-out and better build your own unique story. Plus, today it’s all about providing experiences so you don’t want to be part of the pack in terms of the trendy-type of events we often see blowing up on our social media feeds – you want to be a leader and do something different that stands out and provides a unique experience to media and influencers – while still ensuring you’re providing solid content.
 
Fostering Relationships
 
Relationships are key in our industry. And, the best part about media and influencers in Canada is we have some of the best ones in the world – making it easy to want to get to know them better or keep in touch! As a PR professional our key job is to build a story and bring solid content or experiences that are relevant to our media and influencers. For 2019, make it your priority to continue to bring relevant information and experiences to these audiences to make their jobs easier by helping to cut through the clutter of the 1,000s of pitches or invites they get annually. Be sure to stay on top of what they are writing about or advocates for so that the information is always fresh and geared to their interests – while respecting their time.
 
New Year, New Tools
In our industry measurement is key. So, it’s important to stay on top of the PR measurement and news gathering tools that are available to us. And, yes, there are so many of them aside from the usual suspects of MRP, Cision, and Meltwater. Do your homework! And, tailor your measurement tools to meet your needs and what’s important to your brand from a PR measurement standpoint.
 
As an award-winning, Toronto-based boutique PR firm, Cowan & Company prides itself on finding the uniqueness of each of our clients and their brands and, helping them to achieve (and surpass!) their communications objectives with award-winning, fresh and innovative communications initiatives.