Five 2018 Resolutions for Communicators

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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.

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

 

  1. 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.

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5 New Year Resolutions For P.R. Pros

New Year means new goals, fresh, new perspectives and of course resolutions for the year. While we’re all making numerous promises to lose five pounds, spend more time volunteering and to eat healthier, it’s important to remember that resolutions do not only apply to our personal lives. It is just as important to make resolutions aimed at improving our professional life. So with that said, here are five resolutions P.R. pros should consider making this year.

  • Make Measurement the Focus of Your Campaigns – As P.R. practitioners, we’ve all been there – that brilliant idea for a campaign comes to us and we’re gung ho and super excited to jump right in. However, when the details and specifics start taking shape, we realize there are limitations in how we can measure the success or failure of said campaign. The reality is, if you cannot accurately and effectively measure the success or failure of a campaign, then it’s not a good one. This year, resolve to place measurement at the forefront of all your campaign developments.

 

  • Challenge Yourself & Learn Something New – A little personal background. Almost a year ago, I started my new job as a Content Marketing Specialist. While it had its normal challenges that always comes with starting a new job, the biggest challenge for me was the high expectations regarding my photography skills. Full confession, I am not a great photographer (yet…). The extent of my skills was taking pictures with my cute, tiny digital camera and of course my smartphone. But suddenly I was handed a very expensive, very professional camera and expected to deliver high-quality images and videos. To say it was daunting and scary would be an understatement. However, I accepted the challenge and saw it for what it was, a great learning opportunity and a chance to acquire a new and highly desirable skill. Learning and developing new skills is always important, especially in an industry like ours that is constantly growing and evolving. So this year, resolve to learn or further develop a skill or two or three. Sites like ALISON LearningSkillshare and LinkedIn Learning offer a number of free courses in a number of different fields including Marketing, Art, Psychology, Photography, etc.

 

  • Establish/Solidify Influencer Relationships – While the term influencer marketing has become one of the most buzzed about terms in the last few years, the P.R. industry has always understood the power and importance of influencers and more importantly, influencer relationships. Of course, the internet and more importantly social media have created a much larger community of influencers with much greater reach. This year, resolve to build new influencer relationships and solidify existing ones.

 

  • Establish Meaningful Journalist Relationships – One of the biggest stories of the past year, in the midst of one of the craziest U.S. Presidential elections ever, was the emergence of fake news. Some even held Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook culpable for being a source of a lot of it. The fact is, the internet makes it very easy for just about anyone to call themselves a “news source”. So this year, resolve to be more vigilant in recognizing credible and accurate news sources and respective journalists and work at establishing meaningful professional relationships with them.

 

  • Feng-Shui Your Professional Life – Feng Shui is not just for your home and personal life. It can also be applied to one’s professional life as well. And much like your home and personal life, it simply means taking small but significant steps to create a sense of harmony and calm in your professional life. This can include simple steps such as organizing your workspace better, learning how to better manage your time, learning how to say no to avoid taking on more than you can handle, etc. If you are constantly stressed and agitated at work, it’s time to feng shui your professional life.