Happy New Year! It’s officially 2018, and you know what that means – renewed hope and excitement for the year ahead. And of course New Year resolutions. As I noted in last year’s New Year article, making resolutions aimed at improving one’s professional life is just as important as resolutions for improving your personal life. Thus, here are five that P.R. pros and communicators should consider for 2018.
- Set Professional Goals & Objectives for Yourself – No qualified public relations practitioner or communicator sets off on a campaign without an established goal and objectives. Goals and objectives are the foundation of any well-designed communication plan and a quality communication plan is the road-map to any successful campaign. The same rule applies to your professional journey. This year, establish clear and concise goals and objectives for your professional life and use it to help guide your decisions, actions, and ideas throughout the year.
- Get to Know Your Company/Fellow Employees – It is very easy to get so bogged down in all that you have to do that one becomes isolated to just their department and the co-workers in said department. However, no business can truly succeed through various silos of workers. Particularly for public relations practitioners and communicators where a large part of what we do involves sharing our brand and company story, understanding the company and faces and people that make it what it is, can help tremendously. So this year, resolve to get a better understanding of the various departments and people that make up the company you work for, including the work that they do, how they do it, why they do it, their challenges, accomplishments, etc.
- Read, Read, Read… – It can never be said enough, “Reading is fundamental”. As communicators, we should all know how essential reading is to the success of what we do. It improves our writing, expands our knowledge of topics and areas we may not have previously been exposed to, it improves our creativity, it helps us generate new and interesting ideas and so much more. You simply cannot be an effective communicator unless you read frequently. This year, resolve to challenge yourself and improve your reading habits. Already a voracious reader, great – add 10 or 20 more to your usual reading count. Join a reading challenge like Goodreads 2018 challenge, expand your category search, etc. For example, maybe you’ve never been a fan of autobiographies or historical novels (I’m not) – read at least one this year. After all, you never know where inspiration can come from. Which brings me to the fourth resolution.
- Think Outside the Box – In last year’s article, I suggested challenging yourself and learning something new. That included suggestions for developing a new skill and looking to learning websites such as LinkedIn Learning, SkillShare, etc. The suggestion still applies but this year, resolve to really go outside your box in trying something new. Consider something that on the surface you may not think has anything to do with the work that you do. You may be surprised to find it is just the thing that sparks an idea, a new concept or provides a new source of connections, influencers, etc.
- Attend More Conferences/Professional Events – Thanks to the internet and social media, it sometimes feels like simply talking to one another, face to face, has become a lost art. However, there is something to be said for having in person, one on one interactions, where we can pick each other’s brains, share ideas, knowledge, etc. Conferences and professional events are a great opportunity for this. Not only do you learn a lot by individuals from sometimes very varied industries and backgrounds sharing their knowledge, but it is a great opportunity to meet new people and network.
Once again, Happy New Year! And here’s to an exciting and fulfilling 2018.