Many of us make personal resolutions for the new year but forget about professional resolutions. We spend so much of our time at work, setting goals to help us live an easier and prosperous life in the office is very beneficial.

With over 26,000 clients, we know a thing or two about PR best practice. We listen to the pros discuss their top tips every day! In this blog, we’ll discuss 5 resolutions that all PR professionals should consider making. Start 2018 by forming good habits and making positive changes to improve on professional performance.

  1. We WILL be prepared for a crisis

In 2017 we saw our fair share of brand crises, from Dove, to United Airlines, to Pepsi. Whilst many of us know the value of having a crisis plan in place, often it’s difficult to find the time to prepare one. Our recent webinar with Elliot Nichols, Head of PR at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, discussed how valuable planning for a crisis can be. He suggests preparing for a crisis by taking steps such as:

1) Analysing internal processes to spot potential weaknesses within the business
2) Identify stakeholders and influencers who’ll need to be kept in the loop if a crisis were to hit
3) Understand where conversations are likely to develop online and how they may spread

We’d strongly advise putting some time aside to get a strategy in place this January. Here are some resources to get you started:

Webinar: On-Demand Webinar: Crisis, Not Catastrophe: Minimise Damage When Trouble

Ebook: Media Intelligence for Crisis Comms

  1. We WILL personalise journalist pitches

It’s still surprising how many PR pros are guilty of ‘spraying and praying’ pitches to journalists. Let’s make a pact to avoid this approach in 2018 and instead tailor our pitches to the journalist. This will increase the chance of our story being published due to the relevancy of the story we’re telling. Not only this, addressing somebody by their first name is much more personable.

When pitching to journalists consider the following:

  • Find journalists who write about the topic you’re pitching so you can be sure that they’re actually interested in what you have to say. Many PRs use Meltwater’s influencer database to search for journalists, not just by their “beats” (e.g. fashion, food, politics), but also specific keywords (e.g. children’s shoes, gluten-free, foreign affairs). 
  • Try to understand where your story will create interest for them – Is it a public interest story or an industry-specific story? Tailor the email to this. 
  • Make their lives easy. Don’t send them a PDF that they have to download, or a link to a dropbox folder. If possible keep everything within the text of the email and provide all relevant information. Pitches to journalists are not the time to create mystery! 

Resources to get you started:

Blog: How to write a press release that’ll secure you PR

Blog: 6 steps to creating a list of journalists who will talk about you!

3) We WILL give social media the attention it deserves

There’s no denying that editorial coverage is still very important, but at the same time, many of us have yet to fully embrace social media in our PR strategy.

Using our media intelligence tool, we found that the #MeToo social media movement received 505,000 social media mentions on Monday 16th October 2017 alone. The story was covered by the press around 3,500 times on the same day. The movement began on Twitter. This just goes to show the power social media can have on both creating and spreading a story.

Nowadays social media and PR come hand in hand. How? Well many people use social networks to 1) Find influencers and advocates 2) Identify brand threats 3) to react to a crisis 4) Profile senior employees 5) Influence the public’s perception of their brand.

Did you know that journalists make up 25% of verified Twitter accounts? That’s right, a quarter of all users in possession of a little tick are journalists! Since journalists are PRs best friend (well, in most cases), we should be hanging out where they hang out. Social media is a great tool to build relationships with influencers. Considering we live in an age where it’s death by email, social media acts as a perfect alternative communication tool.

Resources to get you started:

Webinar: Social Media in a PR Context

Blog: How to Use Social Media Channels to Drive Brand Promotion

Blog: The New Age of PR: Getting Your Brand Noticed

4) We WILL stay on top of our brand mentions

Many PR professionals keep spreadsheets tallying up news coverage that they find using Google. Manually scouring the web for brand mentions is time-consuming, if not impossible.  Most of us are measured on the success of PR coverage, so it makes sense to have a full picture of how many mentions we get, the reach of the articles and the quality of them.

Using media monitoring, we can keep on top of both our editorial and social media coverage. Meltwater’s news digest reports send an overview of all press coverage we’ve received so we can keep on top of the conversation at all times. We can then dig deeper into the press coverage by logging into the platform and viewing an interactive dashboard which presents the data in real time on metrics such as sentiment, reach, media exposure, top publications and more.

Resources to get you started:

Blog: 4 Ways to Use Media Intelligence

Case Study: How International Rescue Committee use Media Monitoring

eBook: The Savvy PR Pro’s Guide to Media Intelligence

5) We WILL consider internal PR

We recently had a chat with Roxana Tintea, Planning & Insights Manager at Hill & Knowlton Strategies. As a Meltwater client, we were interested in how Roxana uses our tool. “Many PR teams are having to fight for their budget and justify their existence through ROI. However, they struggle to demonstrate their value internally without visual, easy to understand data” says Roxana. 

Keeping our bosses in the loop about the media coverage we’ve received and our PR efforts is really important if our aim is to continually illustrate our value. Many of our clients tell us that sending out a daily newsletter helps keep their colleagues informed of their PR efforts.

Resources to get you started:

Webinar: PR Measurement: The good, the bad, and the ugly

eBook: Make Powerful Impressions with Statistics

Blog: Justify Your Existence Through Internal Communications

What are your PR resolutions for 2018? Tweet us and let us know!