January is generally a slow month for many businesses, which makes it the perfect time to strategise for the year ahead. While planning your sales, service or new product goals, add in some time to do a publicity audit as well.
A publicity audit is your chance to review all your PR activity from 2016 and use what you learn as the base for your 2017 PR strategy. Here are five points to audit how you communicate your business offering.
What did you do last year?
Go back to the PR strategy you put together at the end of 2015 or this time last year (and if there is no strategy, I won’t tell anyone), and review what you said you wanted to achieve. Can you tick all your PR goals off, or are you thinking of adding them straight on to your 2017 plan? Before you do that, consider the next few steps to determine if they’re still relevant.
What media coverage did you receive?
Once you’ve reviewed the PR goals you set for your business, it’s time to see how your PR efforts actually stacked up against those goals. How many articles featured you/your business appear in print and online publications; how many interviews did you do for radio, podcasts, TV; how many links in articles, blogs or social media posts shared your website, blog or social media channels?
If you don’t already, it is a good idea to start googling your name and your business name. Set up an alert with these key terms so you know as soon as something is published mentioning you.
Which media channels did you target?
Does you PR strategy include the big-end-of-town outlets and small fry? It is not unusual to want national coverage on your favourite breakfast TV show, but don’t forget that local newspapers or radio stations, or a niche online magazine, may actually have better reach when it comes to your target audience. Think carefully about the outlets your customers actually pay attention to.
Which social media platforms are you using?
Social media has already been mentioned above, but I want you to think about the platforms you use to publicise your business, and assess whether they are working for you. For example, Twitter used to be a staple platform for many promoting their products and services, but it has become so crowded many have left the micro-blogging platform for others like Instagram or Snapchat. There are so many new platforms appearing all the time so your perfect one might have launched while you were busy trying to work out how to get the best reach out of your Facebook ads.
Review your audience
While you’re in review mode, it pays to look at your target audience. Are the people buying your product or service the same customers you’ve always had, or are they different now. If your market has changed without you noticing you might be wasting some of your PR efforts. Be clear about your ideal customer and what they like to read, watch and listen to before embarking on your 2017 PR strategy.
Now, it’s time to put all this information to good use to create the very best PR plan for 2017. Put a strategy together that will see you and your business on everyone’s lips.
What PR activity are you going to do this year?