1. Review editorial calendars. At the beginning of every year you should request and review editorial calendars to plan out story pitches that will coordinate well with the topics in each issue. By doing this, you increase your chances of solidifying an opportunity or even sparking a new story idea. This is also an ideal way to plan out your advertising, specifically in specialty publications.
  2. Prioritize deadlines. The most efficient public relations experts prioritize all of their deadlines, even down to their trips to the break room for a coffee refill. Spend some quality time prioritizing your deadlines at the beginning of the year; story pitches, award submissions, article placement deadlines, speaking opportunities, sponsorships, and more.
  3. Get your media list in order. Compiling a robust media list is no simple task, keeping it current is an even bigger commitment. Use the beginning of the year to do a massive cleanup of your media list. Find new contacts for any emails that bounce, research new publications, and be sure contacts are organized appropriately so you’re sending the right news to the right people.
  4. Brainstorm story ideas/news. Each year brings a renewed opportunity to brainstorm and present new story ideas to the media. Think about your company in terms of news, products, services, hires, events, topics, and more that would make good story ideas that will intrigue the media. Remember to keep up on industry news for potential story ideas on hot topics.
  5. Customize your pitches. This cannot be stated enough, customize your pitches. Really, customize anything that you’re sending to your media contacts. Not only does it make for a more personal connection and lead to relationship building, it will encourage media contacts to look at your pitches and take them more seriously.
  6. Update your messaging. Your business can change a lot in one year; make it a priority to update your messaging. Everything from your talking points to your news release footer should be updated to reflect your current products, services, location, mission, and more.

If you liked this, check out The Do’s and Don’ts of Pitching Your Story to the Media.

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