(Editor's Note: Our friend and PR guru Meghan Ely of OFD Consulting is back on the blog today, offering more of her expert wisdom. Learn more about Meghan at the end of the post!)
As the clock winds down on the wedding season, it’s time to make plans for the off-season. No, I’m not talking about big vacation plans or endless Netflix binges (although, one should definitely make time for relaxing!) – I’m talking about an effective public relations push to prepare for the year ahead.
If you want the next wedding season to be your best yet (as you should), there are a number of things you can do during your time off to ensure that you’re at your prime and ready to get the press that will push you to the next level.
Analyze your branding
Start off by making sure that your brand is in a good place- after all, what’s the point in sending more eyes to your brand if it doesn’t communicate exactly what you want. Are you happy with your current logo? Is your website all up-to-date and designed to your liking? Is there anything that you’d love to change but just never got around to? Now is the time to make those changes, whether they’re big rebrands or minor changes in website copy. The off-season will provide you with enough time to make the change, as well as communicate the changes if necessary.
Review the year’s work
Next, take a hard look at the weddings that you’ve done in the past year. Are there any weddings that stand out in particular that still needs to be submitted? If so, take some time to research media options and pick out the best-suited publications. Aim for a good range of local, niche, and national submissions for a well-rounded portfolio.
At the same time, you’ll want to look ahead to upcoming weddings of the next season. Chances are you’re familiar with the couple and their wedding plans, so determine whether there are any that are likely to be submitted so you can prepare accordingly. Grabbing the couple’s information, story, and vendor list ahead of time can save you from trying to track them down post-wedding!
Evaluate your real wedding process
On that note, it’s time to assess your real wedding submission process to see if you can streamline the procedure further. In addition to collecting information upfront, consider setting yourself a reminder to contact photographers if applicable or to set aside a time of week for batch submitting.
Create a media list
A well-developed media list is the key to getting organized with your public relations efforts. It only takes a few hours and the results are well worth the time. Do your research on what publications are the best fit for your branding and where you would love to be featured, then grab the contact information for the editors and keep it all in one spreadsheet. That way, you’ll have all of your editor connections right at your fingertips!
Develop a speaking platform
If you’ve been interested in branching out into speaking, then the off-season is the perfect time to develop your speaking platform and research upcoming opportunities. Narrow down your expertise into a few great topics that you can speak on for at least 45 minutes, but even up to one and a half hours.
So, now that you have a to-do list for the off-season, it’s up to you to prioritize your time spent on growing your business. Sure, you certainly deserve the time off, but the effort that you put into organizing over the off-season will certainly serve you once the peak season picks up again!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.