Four PR Resolutions for 2015
January 7, 2015
As we begin a new year, it is always a time for reflection. We begin to think about the past year – successes, disappointments, and changes we’d like to make moving forward to the next. While many are planning to kick that bad habit, lose those extra five pounds, or start a new hobby, I’d like to focus on some resolutions for those of us who work in Public Relations.
Refresh Your Email Habits
Email is the heart and soul of modern business communication and many professionals, especially PR folks, are guilty of overusing it. Moving into 2015, we need to tame the beast and modify how we use email. For example, if more than three emails have been traded on a topic, pick up the phone and call.
Being able to bounce ideas off of one another instantaneously can help you reach a conclusion quicker, saving time and frustration. In the instances where email is the best means of communication, keep it short. Implementing bullets is a good way to keep a note digestible. The shorter and more succinct you can be, the better – journalists and clients will thank you.
Write First, Edit Later
People in PR are often asked, “So… what exactly do you do?” All of us have a different way of answering, but the one constant descriptor is, “we write a lot.” From day one, writing is something PR folks should be actively working on.
However, our busy schedules often get the best of us and we normally end up quickly churning something out so we can check it off our to-do list.In this process, we lose the chance to thoroughly revise our writing. 2015 should be the year of the “write first, edit later” strategy. Stepping away from a project for even a few minutes can help you catch mistakes or find a better way to phrase a tough sentence. Not only will this increase your confidence in your work, but also will spare your managers and clients editing time.
Remember Reporters are People too
In PR, it’s easy to feel like reporters are the Big Bad Wolf and you’re a wee Little PR Piggy. But in reality, those reporters are the exception. Reporters are just like you and me – busy, tired, and receiving too many emails. In 2015, use this knowledge to your advantage. In communications with reporters, keep it casual, friendly, concise and, most importantly, keep it interesting. Some reporters claim to receive upwards of a few hundred pitches a day. Using a ‘sexy’ or unique subject line is a great way grab their attention. If you had a hundred emails in your inbox, would that subject line entice you to open it?
Find a Balance
It’s no secret that the world of media operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. As PR goes hand-in-hand with media, it’s easy for us to fall into a similar pattern, and smart phones are our enablers. When that familiar notification sound goes off, it’s easy to quickly read and respond to an email. However, this strains the balance between work and home, which is crucial for both your professional and personal success. 2015 is your chance to break the habit. Resist the urge to continuously check your email when you get home or on weekends. Let your colleagues and clients know if they need to reach you after hours they can call, or that you will check email at a specified time each night. Giving yourself some downtime will help you be a better friend, spouse, and employee.
On a final note, PR is known for being a thankless job. Remember to thank your colleagues and clients for all they do, and most importantly, remember to thank yourself! Cheers to 2015!