Michelle Han December 5, 2014 | 01:33:41

Weatherproof Your PR Programs For 2015

It’s getting cold out there, and the approach of colder months is a great time to shore up your PR programs for the months ahead. Just as you’d weatherproof your home to prepare for the long season of colder, darker days in the Northeast, communications professionals can employ some basic steps to prepare for success in the next quarter or two.

Update, update, update. Media lists, editorial and conference calendars, you name it. We all have them, and they become outdated quickly as people move on and the months fly by. Take the time to gather those notes you’ve been collecting and organize them into their appropriate places so the knowledge you rely on is ready when you need it in a pinch.

Education and training. Quieter times of the year, like holidays, are a great time to sign up for that social media marketing class you’ve been meaning to take, or attend a panel discussion on new trends in B2B or tech PR. Resources like Mediabistro, PRSA, or HPRMS make it a snap.

Reconnect with people – and prospects. Everybody likes having someone buy them latte once in a while, and a little bit of good will can help build comfort and trust, and opens up channels for creativity for clients, colleagues, journalists, and prospects. The holidays are a particularly good time to reconnect with prospects that might have gotten away, offering them up a summary of your great work from the year, or a great story idea – gratis- as a holiday gift.

Bring your organization tools up to speed. Organizational apps are all the rage, and they’ve been around long enough that there are more to choose from beyond the tried and true Evernote. Since we know the PR pro is never without her smartphone, why not make it the best tool it can be?

Don’t leave it till the end. Make plans for the milestone dates you know are coming up in the next six months: holidays, significant anniversaries, new product launches, annual events. Every company that’s been around more than a year has certain regular activities that repeat themselves. Why wait until the last minute to think and plan out what kinds of PR activities you want to do?

Evergreen stories. The sturdy evergreen tree is aptly named, as it thrives throughout all seasons. Do some reporting on your own clients and dig out those existing stories that are not pegged to any specific time. Develop them and have a few in your back pocket to pull out and work on when activity is slow.

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