Spring Cleaning in the PR World

By Scott Signore

The sun is shining here in New England, so there’s hope that the spring season has finally arrived. And, with warm weather and sunny skies comes the thought of spring cleaning – getting the things around you in order so you can make the most of every day. Here are a few tips for corporate-side public relations managers who may want to seize the season and evaluate their current PR agency team and the program they execute:

First, it’s a good time to audit your PR and social media team’s results against the metrics established at the start of the program. (Frankly, it’s always a good time to do this type of review!) You developed the metrics in concert with your business objectives, so you should take a close look at exactly how your communications program is contributing to your business success.

Second, it’s also a good time to look at the various components of your program. Do you have a good volume of creative elements that strengthen your message and help you tell your story visually? Or, do you need to do more to get the attention of your key audiences? Remember, more than 90 percent of B2B marketers and 75 percent of B2C companies employ valuable visual content as part of their communications mix. Why? Because it drives revenue. That’s a pretty compelling reason.

Third, take a look at the team supporting your business – are they still coming to the table with high energy and creative ideas? Are they asking the right questions and helping you to strengthen your story before it gets out to the market? In general, are they pumped to be working on your behalf? Your agency team members are representatives of your organization, and your expectations of energy and enthusiasm should be met. If not, it may be time to consider an alternative.

Fourth, do you have a plan in place to best exploit the results of the team? Leveraging media successes helps any organization get the best ROI on their initiative, and pausing to determine if you are supporting the sales team appropriately is a smart thing to do. In addition to helping these folks to succeed in their job, you have a more convincing way to justify your agency spend.

And, finally, dig down into your organization’s story-telling – and poke holes so the media doesn’t take that step first! Evaluate the always-changing market and solidify your key messages with new facts that support your positioning. And, seriously consider media training for the spokespeople who are active contributors to your program, as the message is only as clear as the way it is delivered!

What other steps should we take this time of year?