The holiday season means slower news cycles for B2B PR strategists. However, that does not mean your marketing communications activities need to come to a halt. If you don’t have the news that will capitalize on holiday themes, don’t force it. Here are some ways to boost your PR efforts during this time and help you prepare for 2022.
- Re-evaluate your communications plan. The end of the year is the perfect time to take a step back and look at your marketing communications strategy. No matter what sector you’re in, it is more likely than not that your industry and your company’s position in the market aren’t the same they were a year ago. Your communications strategy and goals need to evolve at the pace of the market’s evolution.
- How well does your company’s communications strategy support its growth?
- What can you anticipate that will impact your communications efforts in the next year?
- How can your company capitalize on the PR successes and eliminate inefficiencies?
- Have the company’s communications resources changed over the last year? How will that impact your ability to obtain media results?
- Content is king. Mining your internal, proprietary data – organizational documents and business archives including products, costs, pricing, staffing and other statistics – and using it to create engaging visual and written content has become one of the most important ways to build your reputation as an industry leader.
Whether it’s polling your audience or customers through social media, your email list or a website survey, gathering data has become less expensive and time-consuming. High-quality long-form content (e.g., case studies, white papers, reports) that contains industry trend analysis and insights into how services and products are evolving often gets the media’s attention, and also may be valuable to your external stakeholders. While whitepapers and executive summaries are powerful storytelling tools, infographics and tables provide even more compelling formats for data consumption.
Incorporating data into storylines provides a powerful news hook, especially in today’s media landscape where there are fewer journalists covering more publications, more fake news, and attention spans have gotten shorter. But to stand out, it is essential to position the data correctly to the media and provide real value to journalists.
- Focus on internal communications. Internal communications are just as important as external communications because your employees are the very people who can make your company come alive for your clients and prospects. To become effective brand ambassadors, your employees need to hear the same messages that you send out to the marketplace. So don’t wait for the next merger or the arrival of new leadership to focus on your internal communications. The holidays are a good time to connect with your employees and engage them in the company vision.
Author Simon Sinek popularized the notion that the most successful companies lead with why. “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it,” he wrote. Now it’s a good time to bring your staff together to share the company’s “why” – why your business does what it does, your brand positioning, and what makes your company different. Expanding internal communications beyond human resources and operational messages will help your employees understand what the company stands for and internalize the organization’s purpose and value. And when people feel proud of the company they work for they are also proud to become its brand ambassadors.
- Put the holiday spirit in corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR programs are among the best ways a company can improve its reputation and influence long-term success, according to PRNEWS’ CSR & Green PR Guidebook. Holidays are a great time to walk the walk. Whether it is food insecurity, racial, social or environmental justice, climate change, or something else, now is just another great opportunity to show what you are doing to make the world a better place and encourage others to do their part. Initiatives like this, however, should not only be reserved for the holidays. In fact, doing so can cause reputational damage and your corporate initiatives should come from a place of authenticity and be relevant to the mission and ethos of your company.