Thursday, January 6, 2011

A New Plan for a New Year

If you’re anything like me, you’re still trying to fulfill last year’s resolutions, and the thought of kicking off a whole set of new ones is a little overwhelming. But the truth is, 2011 is upon us and it is time to map out a plan for the new year. While in the past most of my resolutions have been of a personal nature, this year I am making a list of resolutions we can implement here at C. Pharr. I have broken them down into seasonal goals to limit the initial burden, but take a look at what we “resolute” for 2011, and consider adding a few to your agenda in the new year.  Cheers!

Winter 2011 –
·    At the beginning of the year it’s time to gather all relevant client award application information, calendaring out deadlines to prepare for the year ahead vs. scrambling to pull nominations together at the last minute.
·    Thoroughly research and review editorial calendars to assist in setting a 2011 strategy for each client.
·    Time to start “scrubbing” media lists, reviewing and updating all contact information so we can proactively start pitching and stay ahead of the game whenever a last-minute media opportunity pops up.
·    Brainstorm and pull together a list of evergreen story ideas , which can be revisited in slower months throughout the year; but let’s be realistic, when do we ever have a slow month?

Spring 2011 –
·    Spring Clean! Go through old client files and archive things you need, throw out things you do not need.
·    Each semester (Spring, Summer and Fall), we hire a student intern. They  are often privy to new trends, which we may not yet have on our radar. One of our goals this season is to not only take time to mentor our intern, but also to take time to be the “mentor” as well absorbing all the new information we can. You never know what you might learn in this reverse-mentor role!
·    Spring is all about being fresh, so this season be sure to spend time researching new social media tools, and dare I say, even implement one new idea.

Summer 2011 –
·    The phrase, “The Dog Days of Summer,” is most often used by people in the media world. During the summer news is slow and reporters are always looking for story ideas. Our resolution during this season is to meet three reporters for coffee or lunch and pitch away. I might just bring along my lists of aforementioned evergreen story ideas!
·    The holidays always creep up on me, and this year, we vow to start the client “holiday initiative” conversation even earlier! With the extra time, we’ll be able to implement tactics that really stand out, while still leaving plenty of time to pitch.
·    Even after we do all the leg work in the first quarter reviewing editorial calendars, publications are notorious for making changes throughout the year. Translation – it’s time to dust off that “ed cal” file and revisit these calendars in search of changes, updates and new opportunities!

Fall 2011 –
·    Especially in Dallas, Fall means the kick off of the social season! With a calendar full of charity events, there are plenty of opportunities for our clients to get involved in the community. Our goal is to narrow down some of the larger events around town, and identify participation needs and deadlines. After evaluating what’s out there, we can encourage and coordinate our clients’ involvement in the events where they can make the greatest impact.
·    It’s easy to get distracted during the fall with football, weddings and of course – holidays! This is a good time to resolve to stay focused on meeting deadlines and seeing through with a year’s full of hard work. 

This post was contributed by Shelby Sabin