It’s 2020, and that means it’s time for New Year’s resolutions!
While the general population is resolving to get in shape, eat healthier or spend more time with family, your PR team can take some time to make your own resolutions for the next year of work. And even the most senior-level PR professionals can make a positive change or two.
Don’t skimp on storytelling.
Your team may have many components — at MediaSource, we’ve got creatives, strategic types and PR practitioners — but ultimately, your work should always come back to storytelling.
Without telling a great story, you’ll be hard-pressed to find the results you’re looking for. Be sure to establish your story early in the project, and let the best story lead the rest of your approach. Unsure of whether your team is strong enough at storytelling? Here are some hints from our award-winning team.
Make a splash with augmented reality.
AR tech (think Snapchat and Instagram filters) is likely to take hold in 2020, and you’ll want your team to be on board. In 2019, Instagram opened its AR development platform to the public, making it easier for brands to take advantage of this new technology.
Because of this, we’re beginning to see emerging best practices from companies like Ikea as marketers find ways to drive sales through interactive digital approaches. Be sure to keep augmented reality in mind when you’re planning your social media pushes this year.
Avoid relying on Instagram likes.
Instagram recently announced that it will be removing likes on some accounts in 2020. The move is part of a mental health initiative to cut down on cyberbullying and reduce the number of people that view likes as “social currency.”
While this has been tested in smaller markets, this change will keep marketers on the edge of their seats as they adapt to a changing social landscape. You and your team will want to find new ways to track your Instagram progress and prove your results.
Keep those contact lists fresh.
Whether it’s updating your Cision listings with newer, more relevant journalists or building new relationships, it’s important to remember that pitching is more than simply sending out a story.
PR pros need to spend time learning about the people we’re pitching to. What type of stories do they cover? What elements will they need? When do they work? It takes time, but it’s easy to maintain relationships and build new ones. You can plan a coffee date, stop by a newsroom for a visit, send a thoughtful note or simply give them a call. And remember to keep your contacts updated!
Don’t make decisions without data.
You and your team may have fantastic instincts and a wealth of experience to rely on, but your clients or C-suite won’t always be swayed by your hunches and a hearty “trust me.” In 2020, resolve to take an analytical approach to your results.
By approaching each project with analytics — goals, target audiences and more — in mind and tracking your results as you move along, you’ll have more solid ground to prove your results. And with more information during the process, you’ll be able to make real-time adjustments that can make a huge difference.
Stop overlooking influencers.
By now, your team has hopefully noticed the importance of influencers as a component of your social-media outreach. But if you haven’t, now is the time! Social influencers are having more of an impact on return on investment than ever, and influencers can be viewed as authentic and relatable. Be sure to keep influencers on your media lists, building relationships with those in your industry.
Go beyond the press release.
If your team is still assuming that one round of pitching will do the trick, then change that mindset in 2020. If your story doesn’t pick up traction immediately, develop a strategy and push past the initial press release.
Those next steps might involve sending follow-up notes, planning alternative pitch angles or researching new contacts. Regardless of which route you take, pressing “send” on an email and waiting for replies won’t work in 2020.
Lisa Arledge Powell is president of MediaSource, an award-winning communications agency that specializes in video production, public relations, social media and strategic insights, constantly securing national exposure for major brands. Connect with Lisa on Twitter: @LisaArledge