Jan 8th 2020

My PR New Years’ Resolutions for 2020

As 2020 begins, it’s only natural that we should reflect on the year (and the decade,) we’re leaving behind. Whether it’s home life, work life, or anything in between, it’s useful to think about what successes and failures we’ve experienced in 2019, as well as where we want to be later on in in the year. Despite most failing by February, the act of formulating New Years’ resolutions is a beloved tradition carried out every January, by well-intentioned hopefuls from around the globe. Never had I experienced a more disappointing defeat than this year, when the goal of Vegan-uary, was passed up in favour of a vicious hangover, followed by an order of 80 McNuggets on New Years’ Day. (To caveat this fact, luckily this food order wasn’t a one-woman endeavour).

Like many other industries in today’s rapidly changing world, PR is constantly evolving. In order to stay ahead of the game, PR professionals at every level need to think creatively about how they can move forward in the new year. Despite being in PR for a relatively short amount of time, I’ve pulled together my top three PR teams’ resolutions for 2020.

Maximise news hijacking opportunities

News Hijacking is an essential method of working for any PR team. When it’s used properly, it’s an effective and efficient way of gaining coverage for clients related to the news agenda. Client teams will have processes set up to monitor for relevant news stories that their clients can jump. However, as the new year rolls around, it’s worth looking at how these search terms can be adapted to build upon the current topics. As well as looking at recent news stories in the brands’ sector to expand your breadth and reach. Reading as much relevant news as possible, and sharing important articles with your team, is a good way of getting in the habit of spotting worthwhile issues jumps.

It’s also useful to anticipate and plan for upcoming news stories in Q1, which you know your brand would be able to comment on. Initial comments could even be drafted in advance to save time, as the key to news hijacking is speed.

Prioritise investment in training

In many PR agencies, training opportunities often play second fiddle to current workloads. Whatever level of seniority, you’re never too experienced for more training. It’s useful to brush up on all manner of skills, from content writing to media relations, to creative thinking. Given the volatile and changing time in the industry, it’s never been more important to broaden your repertoire of skills, and January is the perfect time to create ‘your training plan’ for the coming year.

However, training for training’s sake won’t get you anywhere. It’s worth thinking about what training topics would be useful, and what methods of training work best for you. Do you gain more from a discussion-based session, where you can really engage with the trainer, or would you be more comfortable with a classroom style presentation? And don’t forgot online articles, courses and webinars, where you can brush up on the latest trends in bite sized chunks. Once you know what works, you can create something to fit you and schedule in time to achieve it.

Think about what ‘added value’ means to clients and line managers

However much the industry changes, one factor which will remain significant is the act of adding value in the eyes of the client – both internal and external. This could be achieving media opportunities and coverage, flagging interesting articles to the sales team or even an introduction to a new prospect customer for them. PR teams that are agile and flexible in their approach, will continue to be successful.

As I’ve seen over the past year, PR agencies are continually expanding their remit and offering more integrated services to clients as a result. As this continues, it offers further opportunities for agencies to expand their client stakeholder relationships and the areas that they can offer consultancy and support.  

It’s not easy sticking to new habits, which is probably why so many people fail to achieve their new years’ resolutions. However, if you set yourself more manageable goals, which just require a small adaption in behaviour at first, you might have more luck. For example, Vegan-uary might be a shift too far, but a meat-free Monday could be the way to go!

We’d like to wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year!

If you have any questions about our PR strategies or would like to know more about Babel as an agency, feel free to get in touch here.