With Thanksgiving and the festive season upon us, this is the time to be fine-tuning your PR plans for 2010. Whatever your business, there are a number of factors to bear in mind as you put your best foot forward in the New Year.
1. A rifle shot approach is essential because the media landscape has changed. The recession and the Internet onslaught means there are fewer journalists and media outlets and less page space than before. As a result, it’s increasingly important to adopt the 80:20 rule (sorry!) in your communications: target those journalists who matter most to your customers and create tailored pitches that help them do their jobs. Put in the extra time to create really thoughtful approaches and accept that blanket press release distribution is a thing of the past.
2. Capture the Zeitgeist. In 2009, we thought we were all going to hell in a handcart, as economies reeled around the world. In 2010, we’re emerging from this bleakness and looking ahead with more optimism. The media both influence and reflect this mood and will be increasingly receptive to upbeat stories that chart a positive course ahead. Find angles that fit your news into the economic recovery story and add new dimensions to it.
3. It’s the Election, Stupid! In the UK, the first months of 2010 will be dominated by anticipation of the General Election that seems likely to eject the Labour government from office and replace it with a Conservative administration. This will drive much of the news agenda, so another angle to explore is how your business story aligns with the Conservatives’ plans and aspirations.
4. Get ready for the search wars. As per our other leader in this issue, there’s a new kid in town in the search industry. Microsoft is making some bold moves to enable Bing to eat Google’s lunch. Now is the time to get familiar with Bing and see how it should be factored into your SEO and SEO PR.
5. Work out how to embrace social media effectively. Don’t drink the Kool-Aid – we’re past the point of religious fervour when it comes to Twitter, LinkedIn and their ilk. However, many businesses have found sensible and appropriate ways to embrace social media within their marketing programmes. This is no longer a job to be delegated to the office nerd – for certain businesses, social media is an important channel for customer communication. Recognise this and develop a strategy.