Spring clean your public relations plan with these six tips.

Spring is officially here. A season when we all play the obnoxious game of what to wear as the temps dance up and down the thermometer before settling on just right. Spring also marks the age-old ritual of CLEANING. We crawl out of hibernation to face all the chores we’ve ignored all winter. It’s a time of rebirth, declutter and organization. Take this as an opportunity to not only clean out your fridge but clean up your PR strategy.

When you dedicate time to review and clean up your PR strategy on a regular basis, you can determine ways to improve your approach and generate better results. Get motivated with these tips to help you “spring clean” your PR plan:

  1. Refine your media lists. The current landscape of the media is ever-evolving. Journalists can change roles and publications on the flip of a dime. Keeping your lists updated means you won’t have to scramble for the appropriate contacts come time to pitch. It’s also important to ask some questions like, are there any new, big players or influencers in your focused industries that you should add to your lists? Have you received any bounce back emails lately? If so, take some time to add and remove those people from your lineup.
  2. Research new publications. Comfort is familiarity. We stick with comfort to avoid distress. Sometimes there is risk involved with stepping out of your comfort zone. Risk helps us grow and achieve new potentials. It is easy to continue pitching the publications, reporters and writers you know, and you should of course continue nurturing those relationships. BUT, every week journalists are taking jobs with different outlets and new publications and blogs are popping up everywhere. Now is as good a time as any to start researching other publications your target audience reads and start pitching to them. Expand your horizons and think about what other outlets or verticals you can reach. If you received most of your media coverage in personal finance, it might be time to start pitching to another vertical such as retirement.
  3. Reevaluate your pitching technique. Now that you’ve cleared the cobwebs from your media lists and built out some new targets it’s time to reevaluate your media pitching method. Sometimes it can be as simple as the word count in your emails to journalists. Generally, shorter is better so you keep their attention. Be direct, get to the point and don’t be afraid to make your “ask.” Journalists are looking for real-world expertise and stories and can easily detect fluff.  Have you tried crafting catchier subject lines? If not, give it a shot.
  4. Review key messages. Along the same lines of reevaluating your pitching style, you should take stock in your client or business’ key messages. This is especially important if your client or business has gone through significant changes or a rebrand. Focus on the information you want your target audience to hear and remember and build or adjust the key messages accordingly.
  5. Throw away unnecessary items. Do you ever look around your desk and wonder how you got so buried in piles of paper and post-its? Or, are you someone who doesn’t delete emails and has over a two-thousand unread emails in your inbox? This clutter can interrupt your work flow and your ability to think. As mundane as it seems, delete old emails, folders, and documents that are creating unneeded clutter in your life – and do it regularly so you don’t get bogged down once a year. Streamlining can help you maintain your happiness.
  6. Evaluate goals for the next season. So, you’ve cleaned up and organized your PR strategy. Now, it’s time to think big. Set some new goals. Big ones. What new media coverage do you want to earn next for your brands and clients? What is that one big outlet you’ve been chasing?

If you REALLY want to get organized, make a list by month of what you want to get covered and which publications hit your goals. From this list, give yourself solid deadlines so you can chart out your future. Then, turn to your brand-new media list and you’re off to the races.

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