The turkey has been picked apart, the wishbone wished upon, and the rounds of coffee are morphing into a Manhattan or two. With the family finally gathered after a tumultuous year, all seems well with the world. But then cousin Ed is nowhere to be found; same for your stepsister and her teens. They’ve all snuck out the side door, beckoned by the promise of amazing deals, along with throngs of rabid bargain hunters and store hours that would have been unimaginable a few years ago.
There are so many ways to send messages, yet email shows few signs of declining. In fact, it’s growing, according to the latest statistics from the Radicati Group, which predicts 3 billion people will be using email by the end of 2019. That’s about one-third of the world’s population.
Remember about five years ago, when everyone in PR became enamored with analytics and how numbers and math would create a Moneyball across the communications landscape? While today no one disputes the fact that analytics has become a standard communications tool, it is clear that a new—and surprising—weakness in our industry has emerged: the written word.
What will the new year mean for PR pros and what skills should they bring with them. We ask 5 communicators what successful PR people will need.
No matter your industry or subject, creating a plan to reach goals that will help you arrive at your destination also can assist you to better understand the scope of your communications and marketing. A plan will help you stay organized and make adjustments in case you run into unforeseen challenges and obstacles. It also can help you reduce processes into small, achievable chunks for accomplishing tasks that you’ll need to do to overcome challenges. Here are five steps to help you write a strategic communications plan.
In PR, it’s crucial to get a point across without writing a sprawling essay; in this way, we can all learn from Dylan. Though he wrote many a long-winded song, he also had a way with a pithy one-liner that sticks with people. These are lines that could serve as epigrams to novels and slogans on protest signs—and 50 bucks says that all of the below have been tattooed on somebody at some point.
In a recent article in PR News Pro, pitching expert Michael Smart writes, “When I’m asked to review pitches, anxious clients generally start by inquiring about their subject line, their opening sentence, or their call to action. But there’s a factor that has way more influence on the likelihood of success than the language and phrasing of the actual pitch. That factor is what I call Message-to-Influencer Match. And that’s why the first thing I ask about when looking at any pitch is: Who is the target, and why?”
Top PR professionals know how to draft well worded material that lends an authoritative voice to their brand. When pressed for time, however, even the most talented communicators can be forced to sacrifice quality for quantity, using tired tropes where they might be better off expressing their brand’s voice in a simpler and more meaningful way. PR News shares its list of the 10 most overused terms in communications today.
In a situation where the reader automatically deletes messages from unknown senders, then nothing will help you get read. In other scenarios, well-crafted subject lines are crucial to get readers to at least open your message. At that point “the key,” says Sheri Johnson, president of Morningstar Communications, “lies in creating personalized, relevant content delivered at the right time to fit your prospects’ needs.”
Perhaps you’ve sent a pitch to Ms. Senior Editor only to remember that it’s Mr. Senior Editor. Or you’ve invited a reporter to a press conference on Monday the 3rd and received a message back saying, “The 3rd is a Tuesday. What day is your event?” So you know great content doesn’t mean anything if a document is poorly written or contains typos. Focusing on a process for writing can set you up for success. A thorough process means you have time for planning, drafting, reviewing, quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC). Juggling multiple projects and deadlines can make it hard to set aside time for all of these steps, and the planning step often gets sacrificed. Still, taking a few minutes to plan your writing before you begin will make editing much easier.