10 Things Every DIY PR Person Should Have on Their to-Do List in January 2011

Hands up who’s hanging out for a holiday after a busy year?

I hear you.

While it certainly is nice to indulge in some quiet down-time and ease your way back to work at the start of the year, putting in a few hours to plan your PR and pitch a few targeted story ideas could pay off and give your business a real kick-start to 2011.

And because another to-do list is the last thing you might want to be doing as you wrap up business for the year, I thought!’d do it for you and include a few tips along the way:)

I hope you find it useful!

10 things every DIY PR person should have on their to-do list in January 2011:

1. Plan your PR calendar. Think about major events and public holidays that you might be able to leverage for some publicity. For example, Australia Day – if you’re pitching a photo opportunity for Australia Day, make it bright and big (or small…especially when you include young babies). Include Valentines Day, Mothers/Fathers Day, as well as the seasons and back to school times if they are relevant to you.

2. Write up a media wish list – list the names of the journalists and media outlets you would like to appear in and the kind of stories you would like to be involved in – think big. Then research your target publications. Get to know their story style and sections and make yourself a cheat-sheet.

3. Follow your favourite journalists on twitter, you’ll be amazed at what you find out about what they are looking for, what they like and so on.

4. Reflect and think about some different story ideas. (PR Guru’s What Makes news is great stimulus). Think about new customer case studies, any new trends or issues you have dealt with.

5. Review your website and update your newsroom with the publicity you have achieved for the year. This helps to build credibility in your brand.

6. Update your social media pages with new photos from 2010 and tell people about what you might have in store for 2011.

7. Update your biography to include a list of media interviews you have conducted in the past year. And review your photography – is it time for an update? Invest in professional images – media might use them!

8. Make plans to brush up on your PR skills. If you are outsourcing – does your agency measure up? Or, if you are a DIY publicist, do you need a helping hand. You may think about taking a course or joining a mentor program – it’s amazing what you can learn in a short amount of time to make a big difference to your PR results

9. Start planning your campaigns. If you’re planning to launch new services or a product in 2011, brainstorm some PR ideas. Even if you jot down some dot points about timing, who you might involve or where you might hold a launch event and the type of media you will target. If its magazines you’re after, it might be time to get your media release ready sooner than you think!

10. Update your media contact list and annotate it with any information about the journalists you have spoken to, what they like, what they are looking for and so on.

And if you are planning to pitch story ideas over the festive season in Australia…get in early! Even though many TV and radio shows won’t start back on air until the third week in January, producers are coming back on deck to plan the segments early. Some will be working from the 5th of January while others will be coming back from the 17th.

Make the most of this the quieter time of year by offering a story idea that’s light-hearted and a feel-good for the summer months. Journalists are much more receptive during this non-rating summer period.