The New Year is finally here, and what better way to kick off 2024 than by setting our intentions and goals for the next 365 days! From reading more books to traveling and getting back to the gym, we all take the time to think through our own personal goals. So, why not think about ways to improve professionally to strengthen our PR prowess and uplift our agency to new heights? To gather insights from the pros themselves, we tasked Coyners with identifying their own PR resolutions and mapped out ways to accomplish these three goals in the New Year.
Here’s our guide to tackling resolutions in 2024:
- Lead with Creativity
Any successful PR campaign starts with a well-thought-out idea, but brainstorming isn’t as simple as blurting out the first thought that comes to mind. Coyne’s CEO, Tom Coyne, encourages our workforce to think of a breakthrough idea like a lost wallet – highly valuable and within our reach if we put in enough thought and time to find it. Ideas should be strategic, ownable, and timely for the brand that you’re brainstorming for, which is why compiling a creative brief can be especially useful for guiding thinking. Include details like budget, target demographic, opportunities for a spokesperson, influencer and social support, and other key details.
While it may seem contradictory to work towards reducing screentime in a highly tech-focused client service industry, stepping away from your screens can actually increase team collaboration and creativity. For instance, hosting tech-free brainstorms can foster a more engaging environment. Try ditching the laptops and instead arming your brainstorm with verbal prompts, thought-provoking questions, and mini breakout sessions to get people talking and thinking more freely!
If you can’t get everyone in a room, there are other ways to encourage virtual collaboration. Try sending out a team survey or poll to gather insights and ideas from the team before connecting for a virtual meeting. You can also ask team members to come to the table with new inspiration, such as recent campaigns they saw in the news, trending pop culture stories, or what they’re seeing generate engagement on social. By getting the wheels turning before you connect, you can inspire your team to come to the table with new thoughts and a refreshed perspective on client goals to make sure you’re completing your assignment.
- Generate Top-Tier Media Results
The media is an ever-evolving landscape, filled with new opportunities and challenges from new platforms like podcasts and TikTok series, to reporter layoffs and limited resources at any given publication. Successfully landing a story takes strategic identification, persistence, and a great news hook to keep a reporter engaged despite an inbox full of pitches. These tips can help you connect with media more authentically, resulting in better media results:
- Update Your Lists: Between platforms like Cision, Muckrack, and even social media, there are a variety of tools and resources to utilize to carefully craft a media list. Be sure to review your media lists routinely to ensure that your go-to reporter hasn’t moved to a new outlet, or see if there’s an opportunity to add a new publication to your list that may be the perfect fit for your news.
- Read What They Write: Reporters’ beats are often changing, so it’s important to read what they’re writing in the moment to make sure your story is relevant to what they’re working on. Before you send a pitch, run a quick scan of their recent stories and what they’re posting on social to see what they’re interested in and make sure you’re delivering news that they’ll actually write about.
- Monitor the Media: There are many ways to insert our brands into relevant news stories where our clients can authentically enter the conversation through “newsjacking”. For instance, if a publication reports on how to improve a skincare routine and you work with a skincare brand, you have an opportunity to connect with the reporter by sending a thoughtful mailer for the chance to be incorporated into the story or kept in mind for the future.
- Subscribe to PR News: On the other hand, monitoring PR-focused outlets and daily newsletters provides an opportunity to pull inspiration from elements of campaigns that are hitting the mark and generating widespread coverage. For example, if you see that leading pharmaceutical campaigns are rooted in new data, it might be time to develop a custom survey or study for your healthcare client to include in your pitch, entice media, and drive results.
- Expand to New Platforms: From TikTok to blogs and podcasts, reporters are not simply publishing their stories in online or print news stories. Often, reporters are influencers in their own right, and working with them to find the right platform for your story can ensure you’re getting your news in front of your target audience. Explore these new platforms as you’re building your media lists for a fresh new way to tell your story.
- Meet in Person: Setting up time to connect with reporters in person can take the transactional nature out of the mix. Invite your favorite reporter to grab a coffee, lunch, or a cocktail after work to see what they’re up to, what they’re working on, and what direction they’re getting from their editors. Not only will this put a name to your face in their inbox, but this provides an opportunity to secure valuable insights that can guide your client recommendations and pitches in the future.
- Find Ways to Say Thanks: Just because a story goes live, doesn’t mean your job is done. To maintain relationships with key media contacts, find ways to thank them for their collaboration. Whether it’s sending an email, a handwritten thank you note, or a gift basket filled with client goodies to a reporter who covered your news, closing the loop and showing gratitude can make a huge difference in getting their attention again in the future.
- Foster a Team Mentality
Fostering a team mentality in a fast-paced work environment such as PR is vital, as it leads to a mindset where collective goals are prioritized over individual achievements. A team-oriented approach encourages the sharing of diverse ideas, skills, and experiences, leading to innovative solutions and a more dynamic problem-solving process. You know what they say, “teamwork makes the dream work!” However, maintaining positive team morale in a hybrid work environment can be tricky.
In the same way that regular check-ins with clients are important, it’s paramount to make time to connect with your teammates, both virtually and in person. Setting up team regroups regularly can help to ensure that client needs are met, tasks are tracking against deadlines, and everyone is aligned on the team’s overarching goals. These check-ins also provide an opportunity to discuss recent wins, opportunities for growth, and ways to improve across the board.
On the flip side, making time to connect on a personal level is just as valuable in fostering a positive team mentality. Getting to know your teammates on a deeper level can offer a greater understanding of everyone’s strengths, weaknesses, goals, and aspirations, all of which can inform a team’s work strategy and long-term outlook. Setting up team lunches, happy hours, and team-building activities like a scavenger hunt, dress-up day, or bringing your child or parent to work can help employees feel personally valued and engrained in the team and larger agency. At Coyne, we strive to be the best place to work, and that goes far beyond delivering the best client results, but also making sure we’re having fun while we do it!
Whether you’re aiming to add new names to your media ‘friendlies’ list or engage in more thoughtful discussions with your clients, keep in mind that nearly half of Americans give up on their resolutions by the end of January. To keep on track, be sure to set measurable goals and monthly reminders to review your resolutions, evaluate results, and other ways to improve. If you follow the above guide, you’re sure to have a prosperous 2024.
From the PR pros at Coyne PR, we wish you a happy and fruitful New Year!