The New Year is a great time for PR Pros to think about professional resolutions

Happy New Year! If you’re anything like me, you made personal resolutions for the New Year but failed to set professional resolutions. I’d argue that making changes to better your professional self should hold equal weight, so I figured a list exploring resolutions for the PR pro was in order.

Personal vs. Professional Resolutions

Personal resolutions are easy; most of them simply address bad habits that need changing or complete elimination. These days many declare our resolution intentions publicly through social media. My guess is that by exposing our resolutions publicly we are, or think we will be, more successful. As reported by our own Leslie Nuccio, the most popular themes for personal resolutions this year are to quit smoking and lose weight.

Professional resolutions are trickier to identify because all of us have many things we can improve upon. So, I hatched a plan to tackle this lofty goal:

Professional New Year Resolution Identification Plan:

  • 1. Identify themes: To identify possible professional resolution themes I looked at the popularity of the articles on this blog in 2013. I figured the top content is indicative of interest and a few tips might emerge as I analyzed themes.


  • 2. Pick 5 articles: With a list of the top 10 I decided to pick 5 articles that illustrate a lesson or change PR pros can make in our daily work that will make an impact.


  • 3. Take a nap: I was tired and a little overwhelmed with choosing 5. After all, as the writer of these articles I have a certain pride in each and every one, so choosing 5 was difficult. And, my Mom taught me to “sleep on it” when I have a difficult decision to make.


  • 4. Identify the tip: With a tip from each of the 5 chosen articles identified I was able to quickly develop 5 solid resolutions.


  • 5. Write: I’m on this step right now…


It was a pretty simple process, and I have to say, the nap helped. I did, however, need a quick cup of coffee when I woke up to help me get back on track. I didn’t add the coffee step to the list above; after all I can’t give away ALL of my secrets…

5 New Year Resolution Suggestions for PR Pros

  • 1. In 2014, I will be prepared for a crisis!

Hands down the most popular article on this blog in 2013, 10 Steps to Managing a PR Crisis, offers great advice on how to handle a crisis situation. Of course no one wants a crisis to arise, and they should be avoided, but when they happen, be ready to go! Relevant articles: 10 Steps to Managing a PR Crisis, Who’s on First, Scandal! How Metrics Lead Crisis Communication by Channel, 8 Tips for Avoiding a PR Crisis

  • 2. In 2014, I will be on the lookout for newsjacking opportunities.

One of the best ways to gain exposure for your brand is by “hitching your wagon” to a larger news story, as demonstrated in a media monitoring article we wrote in response to Miley Cyrus’ appearance on the VMA’s. As you know, newsjacking is one great way to a generate story ideas. Relevant articles: Twerking Her Way into the Spotlight: in Defense of Miley Cyrus, Newsjacking, Social Monitoring, and Three Other Ways to Generate Story Ideas

  • 3. In 2014, I will target journalists better!

A few months ago we shared a statistic that should have all PR pros thinking about how they target journalists; PR pros outnumber Journalists 4 to 1. The lesson is simple: there are more PR pros working today than there are journalists, so our pitches must stand out in some way. The best place to start is with targeting; by making sure your pitches get into the right hands you can break through the clutter by serving reporters stories with direct relevance.Relevant articles: Media Relations | PR Pros Outnumber Journalists 4:1, Time To Up Your Game, How a Media Database Can Help You Pitch “Sea Unicorns”

  • 4. In 2014, I will rethink influencer targeting!

Ten years ago PR targeting was pretty straight forward, we pitched journalists, producers, etc. Today we are faced with many different new options including bloggers, social influencers and more. As PR Pros we are best served by keeping an open mind in deciding whom to target with a story, we must think outside the box and pitch whomever will most enjoy our story! Relevant articles: 4 PR Tips for Online Influencer Strategy | Social vs. Journalism, Web 2.1: Citizen Editors are the New Influencers

  • 5. In 2014, I will be open-minded about PR’s place in content and social media marketing!

We all know “content marketing” was THE 2013 buzzword in the marketing world,and “social media” held the same position for years before. Both are still talked about endlessly, and every PR pro knows there are many parallels between what they do everyday and what content and social media marketing bring to the table. Rather than looking at the difference recognize the similarities and integrate!Relevant articles: Owned and Earned Media | How Content Marketing Blurs the Lines Between These Popular Buzzwords, 5 Content Marketing and PR Parallels, Is this PR or Social Media? | 4 Social Media Disruptions of PR


Do any of these resolutions speak to you? Do you have an alternative to suggest?

If you’re having trouble coming up with a professional resolution that works for you, might I suggest a quick nap? Always works for me! Let us know what resolution you decide on with a comment, we love comments!