5 resolutions for 2011—the PR edition

Genuine interaction—along with a little housekeeping—will go a long way toward your success in the new year.

The 2010 calendar is running out of daylight, and the liquor stores are stacking up the bubbly. That can only mean a few things are going to come into high fashion, and they will range in levels of greatness.

Some of them will even be trending topics on Twitter, including the funny glasses, hangovers, kissing at midnight and the ball dropping in Times Square, but those won’t make their way onto the page. Instead we’re going to take a look at some resolutions that will help us professionally as PR folks. So break out the Pepto, because these resolutions may be tough to swallow.

Keep it clean. I’m not sure about you, but I cannot keep my desk clean for the life of me. Perhaps the biggest reason is that we don’t ever stop to think about ourselves or our area during the day and are hyper-focused on the task at hand. Set some time on your schedule to tidy your area at least once a week. It will show folks you take pride in how you present yourself, and that can go a long way with your bosses. Being messy can lead to questions about your work ethic, and we all know what they say about cleanliness…

Make a connection. We work in a cold industry. It’s often filled with cold calls, fake networking events and blind e-mails. Relationships with journalists are often frosty at best for PR folks, so let’s try to change that. In 2010, I made great connections with a slew of journalists and was better for it. I plan on meeting more during 2011, and I challenge you to do the same.

Canned meat. How long does it take you to write an e-mail? Five minutes? Ten? Twenty? Because the time investment is minimal, why not spend some time customizing your pitches? Keith Trivitt wrote a great post on PR automation, and it was, in part, the impetus for this post. We need to cut the <name> crap and get back to having a meaningful relationship with journalists.

Meet your network. Show of hands—how many of you have met at least one-tenth of your social network? Though it may be tough to do, real-life meetings are important. This year, I am looking forward to meeting Rebecca Denison, Danny Brown, Chris Barger, Arik Hanson and Michael Dolan. Who are you going to meet?

Screw your brand. 2010 was the year of the personal brand. Maybe I am just naïve or worked in sports for too long, but I firmly believe in the saying that you play for the name on the crest, not the name on the back. Unless you are the head of your firm, your job as a PR pro is to make your company or client look good. Everyone knows that your job today will probably not be your last, but you shouldn’t use your current role to gain yourself celebrity. If you want to build something that is Brand U, do it 5-9—not on the company dime. I predict we’ll see more companies cracking down on this kind of self-promotional behavior.

What are your 2011 resolutions?

Topics: PR


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