What about your New Year resolutions?

A New Year means resolutions. What we observe year after year after year is that the new year arrives with clockwork precision. On time, every time! Marking the end of the festive period, that for us Indians, starts off from August-September.

Yes, the time of New Year’s resolutions is upon us again and it’s time to decide.

I looked around and noticed the Datsun India’s post on Facebook: “Hard work #ISayYes attitude is all it takes to achieve success.” Then, I tried asking around. The millennials had different angles. One says “Start believing in ideas”; another says, “Think less”.

If you have set yourself goals, both personal and professional for the year ahead, suddenly you feel the new year resonates. It no longer feels like an ending, but a beginning, a challenge. The key is to ensure your resolutions are empowering, rather than restrictive. So, set yourself a goal.

Of course, those of us who are already ‘perfect’ need not worry. Like a friend emphasised: “I do everything correct. So, I don’t think I need a resolution!” But for most of us, resolutions are the best way of making the new year more positive, more productive than the previous one. It’s really all about thinking of a fresh start, perhaps even a chance to do things differently.

No matter where you have reached as a PR professional, there is always room for improvement. Take out some time, and decide how you would like to build on your PR skills – to pave the way for a productive 2017.

So, step up your PR game this year, with these ideas:

Boost awareness levels
If you want more media exposure, improve your awareness. Watch more TV, read more newspapers/magazines, listen to more radio, go online. By becoming an avid media consumer, you’ll develop a sense of what is interesting and compelling. This will make your PR ambitions easier to reach, and more effective.

Engage with media
Engaging with media will alert you on which reporters, editors and bloggers are most likely to be interested in your story. And, through social media, you’ll be more likely to spot PR opportunities spot on. Journalists, who have a rapport with you, are more likely to write about your brand, whenever appropriate.

Spot the “newsy”angle
One way to get more PR is by identifying and nurturing ‘stories’ you can pitch to the media, keeping the “newsy” angle in sight. Every time you plan something new, or create something better or improved, or organise an event for your brand, you will know whether it’s a good reason to get into the news.

Pitch stories
You win some, you lose some! There may be constant rejection from journalists, but that’s all part of the PR game. If you have a constant stream of media-savvy stories, then you’ll have something to pitch all the time. Learn how to write a brief, effective media pitch, if not a press release. This will increase of chances of actually getting media coverage.

Keep up with national/international trends
Spend time each week, finding out what are the emerging trends. Believe me, you’ll do yourself, and your clients, a big favour! Journalists are open to local, national trends with the stories they write. If you keep up with these trends and offer your client as a source for a current topic, you will increase the chances of getting coverage. Plus, you will get your client a ‘top-of-mind’ positioning, as far as journalists are concerned, when they are filing their next story.

Connect with journalists on social media
Social media’s role in media relations needs no mention today. To build and maintain relationships with journalists, we need to join live, relevant conversations where they are taking place. Twitter is one of the social media platforms that journalists use most frequently. If you are not on Twitter, make it your New Year’s resolution. If you’re already on Twitter, start following and conversing with journalists. This helps you build relationships prior to pitching, which, as we all know, increases our chances of gaining coverage.

As for yours truly,  #ISayYes. Didn’t the old French philosopher Descartes, say, “I think, therefore I am”? So, plan ahead and focus on being the best you possibly can, in 2017!

Shree Lahiri on EmailShree Lahiri on LinkedinShree Lahiri on Twitter
Shree Lahiri
Shree is the Senior Editor at Reputation Today and hopes to move from one focus area to another in the editions that will be released this year. Having worked in Corporate Communications teams, she has experience of advertising, public relations, investor and employee communications, after which she moved to the other side – journalism. She enjoys writing and believes the power of the pen is indeed mighty. Covering the entertainment beat and the media business, she has been involved in a wide range of activities that have thrown open storytelling opportunities.

She can be reached at: @shree_la on twitter

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