Are your clients ready for the new year? Q4 may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also a critical time for companies and brands planning for the new year as budgeting, overall company goals, previous successes and failures, and more come into play.
We’ve been in planning mode over the last few months at Dittoe PR. Below, we outline four key steps we’re currently taking to prepare our PR clients for the new year.
1. Set a Planning Meeting
As extensions of our clients’ marketing and communications teams, we should be prepared to plan for the new year at a high level during a dedicated PR planning meeting. Prepare by brainstorming new ideas, walking through planned content, drafting social campaigns for Q1 and finding ways to strengthen your partnership – all while meeting client goals.
In a meeting, discuss this year’s successes and challenges with your client. Consider coming to the meeting with a metrics recap to illustrate your wins. Come ready to ask questions to set you up for the new year, such as:
- What types of media opportunities and social media content were most exciting to you?
- What are your marketing and sales goals for the year?
- What announcements are on the horizon?
- How would you prioritize our PR efforts for the new year?
- Is there anything we could be doing differently?
Additionally, share ideas that your clients will need to take into consideration when creating marketing budgets for 2023. This can include setting a budget for affiliate links, assets needed, product or hotel stays available and more.
2. Develop PR Strategy
Hopefully, you come out of the meeting with a better understanding of where your client’s head is at. Now is the time to put together a Q1 or complete-year PR strategy, knowing it may change as business priorities shift throughout the year. The strategy should include a high-level overview of the campaigns you plan to support and in what ways. You can also:
- Conduct competitor research that can help inform how you might shift your content, media angles and social media campaigns in the new year.
- Look at leaders at competitor organizations with similar or equivalent titles to those you pitch for the client to see where they are appearing.
- Do social listening to find relevant industry topics for thought leadership or pitching angles.
3. Spend Time on Internal Planning
Agency life is never slow, but use any extra time during the holidays to catch up on the items that get pushed to the side during your day-to-day. A few items you can check off your list include:
- Organizing your inbox and deleting emails.
- Reviewing press lists, including adding or updating outlets and contacts.
- Researching award, speaking and editorial calendar opportunities.
- Developing planning calendars for micro-holidays, specific campaigns, social media advertising spending, etc.
The end of the year is an ideal time to review your internal processes to ensure they are serving you, your team and the client. Is your cadence of meetings too frequent or infrequent? Is there a better way to organize your projects and files? As an internal team, discuss how you worked well together and how you can improve. If you can, plan ahead for any account team or client shifts happening in the new year.
4. Seek Professional Development Opportunities
Use the time at the top of the year to find ways to better yourself that could also benefit your clients.
Professional development opportunities could include catching up on industry publications, such as PR Week, and reading articles about PR, marketing and social media trends for the new year. If your agency has a professional development stipend, plan out what conferences, events or other items you want to spend it on.
A solid strategy and client relationship take time to build, but preparing early will set you up for a more successful year of PR.
Interested in using your skills at Dittoe Public Relations? Connect with us on our careers page. Or, if you’re interested in leveraging our PR expertise for your organization in the new year, get in touch.