New Year’s Resolutions that PR Pros can Actually Keep

Let’s face it. New Year’s Resolutions more often than not don’t quite work out. Such resolutions (finish Robert Caro’s latest tome on Lyndon Baines Johnson or hit the gym more frequently) may last a few weeks or months into the New Year, but then they start to wane.

So, for the purposes of pushing the PR needle, perhaps it’s wiser to substitute the term “resolutions” with “goals,” which seems a bit more concrete.

And for communications execs, there’s no shortage of goals to strive for in 2013.

For PR execs, meeting or exceeding these goals may spell the difference between garnering bigger communications budgets and earning more respect from the C-suite or staying in place and struggling to attain the proverbial seat at the table. It’s a given that PR pros need to wed their social media channels to their overall PR strategy. But here are a few other goals for the New Year.

The ABC of ROI: Sure, PR measurement is older than the hills. But it’s only been in the last several years that ROI has become paramount in the ability among PR pros to demonstrate to senior managers (and their clients) both the value of PR and better accountability. This year communications execs need to strive to improve ROI and get a better handle on the language of numbers because it’s often the only language the C-suite comprehends.

Breakdown the Silos: The term “integrated communications” has been tattooed to our brains since, oh, we forget. But it’s safe to say that there’s a wide gap between the rhetoric surrounding “integrated communications” and the reality, where PR and, say, advertising are often like two ships passing in the night. Rather than succumb to corporate inertia, PR pros this year have to step up their efforts at working more hand-in-glove with their advertising, marketing and branding counterparts, among other disciplines. In a digital age, no media department is an island. Working more closely with other media-related departments can only help PR pros to enhance their content, boost their visibility within the four walls and sharpen their media relations.

Writing Well: As the Web proliferates and social channels become the initial platform online, everybody and their brother is now a writer or aspiring author. But, to be charitable, there’s a good deal of dross online. Well-written pieces, whether online or offline, command a premium from editors, reporters and journalists. Regardless of their market or clients, PR execs in 2013 need to strive for writing clear, crisp (and relevant) copy. (Enough with the spray-and- pray model, already.) Respect the language (of your markets) and don’t be enthralled by slang or colloquialisms.

Follow Matthew Schwartz: mpsjourno1