This is a guest post by Alison Kenney
January 1 brings out the optimist in all of us. It′s a time for new beginnings and fresh starts. For those of us who want to make a commitment to change in our PR careers, consider these New Year resolutions for 2010:
- Embrace technology: if you haven′t already, look for opportunities to learn about and use new forms of technology like podcasting, video, Flickr, Slideshare and more. Many of these technology tools are now easier than ever to use and can make a big difference is helping PR pros tell a story and/or spread the story to new or larger audiences.
- Get your creative juices flowing: great storytelling is critical to good PR. If your storytelling skills are getting stale, look for ways to bring them back to life. Build creative writing skills and bolster your vocabulary by joining a writer′s support group, stocking up on reference resources or reading work written by good writers (in any medium or industry). Likewise, think about learning some new presentation skills — through a personal coach, via an improvisation or acting class, or by gleaning tips online or through articles.
- Be social media savvy: if your idea of incorporating social media into PR campaigns consists of re-tweeting a client′s news, it′s time to spread your wings and learn about all the ways social media, online communities and SEO tools can enhance a PR program. Fortunately there are plenty of resources to help you get up to speed. Search Mashable for best practices examples and tips, sign up for a webinar from Vocus or HubSpot, attend seminars, association meetings or casual meetups and ask around to get examples of social media success stories.
- Get grounded with measurement: technology and social media are a boon to the PR toolbox, but don′t use them for the sake of using them. Make sure your PR strategies are in line with overall PR goals, which themselves need to be in line with your client′s or employer′s business goals. Clearly stated goals make it easier to come up with the right metrics for measuring success. This will be a hot topic in 2010 so look for lots of conversations about measurement in online forums and social media.
- Become a PR thought-leader, or at least join the discussion about PR trends: start by resolving to stay on top of industry news and developments. To get started, set aside time regularly in your schedule to stay on top of the news and to read what other industry leaders are saying. Technology makes this easy: you can subscribe to and scan blog headlines with Google Reader, get news alerts delivered with Google Alerts, set up lists of news headlines and PR pros on Twitter or TweetDeck. Use online communities to learn, too. Join a Twitter chat, answer questions on LinkedIn or participate in another form of professional online discussion.
Alison Kenney is an independent PR practitioner with more than 15 years of PR consulting experience. She is based on Boston′s North Shore and has worked with organizations in the technology, professional services and consumer industries. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.