By Meghan Ely, OFD Consulting
The end of a season is a time for celebration, reflection and naturally for looking forward to what is coming next. If you’re starting to think about 2018 and what is in store for your business, you’re not alone. This is the time of year that successful businesses prepare to take their message to all of the couples that will become engaged in the next two months. Are you ready to take the press plunge or to ramp up your PR efforts for the new year? As 2017 draws to an end, it’s time to take stock and decide what you will need for your 2018 PR campaigns.
Look Back Before Moving Forward
First things first – you can’t put together your 2018 PR strategy until you invest a little time reflecting on your successes and challenges in 2017. What went right with your PR efforts? Which pitches were accepted and which were declined? If you experienced some success with publishers, did it yield bookings?
As always, you need to go into the new year with a clear picture of your message, your target audience and which media channels best reach them. Looking back to see what has worked so far and where you need to dig up new opportunities will help you with the next step.
Create a PR List
Take the information that you gathered during your reflection and create a targeted PR list of publishers that you want to successfully pitch in 2018. Organize this list in a spreadsheet with the contact information, known deadlines and submission guidelines all in one place for quick reference.
Organize Your Potential Submissions
Long before your couples make their grand exits, you can begin preparing to submit their stories to targeted media. If you anticipate a great wedding worthy of sharing, prepare in advance by connecting with the photographer and sharing your intention to publish. Get your clients’ permission in advance and collect the details about their love story and planning experience that you will need to fulfill publisher submission requirements.
If you will seek guest posting opportunities or plan to submit articles to various blogs and magazines, take the time now to develop a list of topic ideas about which you can write as an expert. The easier you make the process of idea generation on publishers, the more appealing your participation will be. You’ll be the apple of every editor’s eye if you can not only pitch relevant, insightful content but also be prepared to deliver great writing quickly.
The best PR campaigns take time and effort to construct and execute. Use your down time now to reflect, organize and prepare for your PR efforts in 2018. You’ll thank yourself very soon for thinking ahead.