2013 – unlucky for some but not for you

Stay ahead of the game this year and make 2013 one to remember by having your PR and marketing communications bases covered in advance.

True, there will be occasions when things occur unexpectedly but there are plenty of times when you know well in advance that it’s going to happen, both internally within your own organisation and externally in the world at large.

Examples include company anniversaries, the appointment of new staff, moving to new premises, attending exhibitions, retirements, product launches, the publication of your trading results, etc. Long lead times means there no excuse for missed PR opportunities.

Likewise, every year we know that the Chancellor will announce the Budget, that there will be major sporting events and annual holidays and festivals. Of course, not all will have relevance to your business. For those that do, plan in advance as to how you can make the most of it, for those that don’t, take a step back and think outside the box before dismissing it.

In essence, successful PR aimed at promoting a strategic message should be planned months in advance, so as 2013 begins take time to sit down, formalise your PR objectives and how you are going to achieve them.

In the meantime, here are some pointers to help you plan ahead:

  1. Keep abreast of the news. There’s nothing better than a leisurely Sunday reading the newspapers. But it shouldn’t end there. Take time each day to see what’s going on around you, whether it’s national, regional or local news websites, subscribing to industry e-newsletters or reading trade publications, for example.
  2. There’s also plenty of websites, some general and other’s sector specific, some global others local, highlighting the events taking place throughout the year. They provide a great source of information and topics for brainstorming.
  3. Many publications will happily supply a list of their forward features or editorial calendars for the coming year. They offer an ideal opportunity to pitch in an idea that could result in editorial coverage at no expense.
  4. Speaking opportunities provide a further source of valuable exposure. Make sure your PR plans for the year include nominating yourself as a key note speaker or a member of a panel discussion. Conferences, trade shows and webinars can be a PR goldmine.
  5. Develop a media contact list by finding out who covers issues relevant to your organisation. This should at least include newspaper and television reporters, radio shows and bloggers.

While PR plans cannot be set in stone, planning ahead will enable you to stick to  your overall goals and maintain your focus.

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