By Andrew Blum*
With the end of the year quickly approaching for in-house and agency PR executives, there are a number of things you should be doing to wrap up 2016 and look ahead to 2017.
1.Know what to pitch
With Christmas and holidays sales seemingly starting earlier than ever and with a lot of people around the country in election and news hangover, think hard about what you pitch in December and when. But don’t do any pitching to the media after December 15 unless you really have to — it will get lost in Christmas. Online and print readership and TV viewership drop this time of year.
The only reason for pitching the media during the last two weeks of December is if something just can’t wait or if you want to bury a story. However, one thing you can expect during the end of the year are the “end of the year stories.” So, that’s one place where you can find good placement late in the year.
2. Showcase your 2016 accomplishments
And as you look ahead, first recap your 2016 PR accomplishments, put them in a comprehensive report, including results from a media monitoring service like Critical Mention. It’s always important to do this – not only for your own records but for your in-house boss or your client if you work at an agency.
3. Finalize your 2017 plan
Then use this time to put the finishing touches on your PR plan for 2017. Think about your PR goals for the New Year. As you refine your PR strategies, staffing plans and budgets. wish lists for 2017.
Check in with the executives at your company or your client to see if they may want anything new or different for 2017. Make sure you know what they are planning in the New Year so you can dovetail those initiatives to PR.
4.Prepare to up your game
When looking at 2016 and 2017 PR, make an assessment of which media outlets have been most successful in getting your message out.And identify which social media platforms have been the winners in terms of content distribution.
You can also use the slow time in the media to have some creative brainstorming sessions with your PR team. A fresh approach will up your game in the New Year.
5. Give thanks
The other thing you can do this time of year is to invite your client, boss or PR team out to lunch—it’s a great time to let them know they are appreciated.
Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!
*Andrew Blum is a PR consultant and media trainer and principal of AJB Communications. He has directed PR for professional services and financial services firms, NGOs, agencies and other clients. As a PR executive, and formerly as a journalist, he has been involved on both sides of the media aisle in some of the most media intensive crises of the past 25 years. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @ajbcomms