With the new year coming on so fast and furious, often we don’t have time to plan ahead. However, if you are getting an early start on preparing for the upcoming year and strategies that you want/need to have in place, you’ve come to the right place. And actually, you can apply this process to any kind of plan that you want to create.
First thing is first, what are your objectives for the New Year?
You may have a number of things happening in the new year, the best thing to do is outline what you want to achieve in the upcoming year. What are the messages that you want to relay to the public first and foremost? Objectives may include things like:
Increase brand awareness
Increase sales by 10%
Increase monthly traffic
Develop 2X business leads
The more measurable the better and easier it is to measure later.
Prepare a timeline
Do you already have events planned for the New Year, maybe a new product launch during the year? As much as you can start mapping out your quarters and developing a timeline of activities and/or events that you need to see happy in the new year. This will help you more aptly prepare your content.
How are you going to achieve your objectives?
Lay out some tactics that you’d like to use and try to reach the above objectives. Remember to plug them into your timeline in a timely manner so that you can measure your progress. I like to visit and plan on a quarterly basis. These bite-sized amounts of time are much easier to manage than the whole year sometimes.
Create a budget
Most of the time with PR, we don’t get much “additional” budget to work with. But this is a great time to plan out what types of funds you’re going to allocate to your activities and be conservative when you make your estimates to give you more wiggle room. Remember that most PR can be earned, but with the shifting media landscape, a paid approach will help to amplify your earned PR plan.
Lock in your goals
I like to lock in the goals and measurements at the end of my planning because I feel like I have everything laid out to me at this point. This way I can get a realistic picture of what is possible as far as goals. You don’t want your goals to be too ambitious to a point where you feel like you failed. Be realistic about what you think you can achieve. Also, remember what you are focusing on. Sometimes in PR, we are choosing between quantity and quality, where quality takes a much longer time and concerted effort to achieve.
If you start here you should be well on your way to planning a successful strategy for a productive new year!