Here we are: the first full business week of 2021. Happy New Year!
To help you kick off this fresh year on strong footing, we’ve put together the list below of five easy PR-oriented tasks you can (and, dare we say, should) do this week.
1. Update your media contact lists
Always treat your media contact lists as living, breathing documents. Update and refine them regularly and on an ongoing basis.
But, even if you already update your lists often, it’s worth the effort to do a beginning-of-the-year refresh of all media lists you maintain.
Go through each of your media lists, contact by contact. Look carefully at what each journalist has covered over the past several weeks or months, what they’ve posted on social media, and any other useful information you can find. Update your lists accordingly.
Depending on the size of your media lists, this project can take several hours, making it a good one to spread out over multiple days.
2. Outline your pitch calendar for the next 1-3 months
If you haven’t already done this, make time this week to outline your media pitch calendar for the next 1-3 months.
Sit down with a calendar – in whatever format works best for you: paper, computer, phone, etc. – and map out when you plan to pitch which topics to journalists. At a minimum, schedule your pitches for January 2021.
Keep the anticipated timing of significant company announcements, new product launches, events (virtual or in-person), and other media-friendly happenings in mind. For example, if your company plans to introduce a new product line in March, schedule some pitches about the new products for the same time frame.
As with any type of scheduling these days, do remember that we continue to live in a highly uncertain time. Your pitch schedule should always remain flexible.
3. Start building a list of guest post opportunities to pursue
We’re big on guest posting as a publicity strategy – particularly for new or young companies that don’t yet have notable brand-name recognition.
Set aside a couple hours this week to begin researching media outlets relevant to your audience. Look into which ones accept guest contributions, and start a running list of these outlets. Include links to their submission guidelines, so you can reference them quickly and easily once you’re ready to pitch yourself and your content ideas.
4. Review your social media profiles
It’s all too easy to neglect your social media profiles – but your profile can be an important source of information for anyone who wants to learn more about your company.
Read through each of your company’s social media profiles, and look for ways to strengthen them. Does each social media profile make it easy for visitors to understand who you are and what you do?
Make sure to include your web address and any contact information you’d like to be public.
5. Send an introductory or reminder email to key media targets.
The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to introduce yourself to new media contacts, and to remind established contacts that you exist.
To introduce yourself to new contacts, send out a brief, friendly email in which you offer a couple lines of background on yourself and / or your company. Also include a list of several subjects you’re well qualified to discuss with the media, to give them an idea of how they might be able to use you as a source.
A reminder email should follow a similar format, but add a quick reminder of the last time you and your contact were in touch for a story he or she was putting together.
Complete each of the five tasks outlined above, and you'll be in great shape for a successful year of achieving your DIY PR goals.