For those of us in PR, December brings reminders of what we’ve accomplished, where we fell short and what we’ll do to improve. Even as the year continues to wind down, we’re busy planning for next year and, if we do it right, the future can be surprisingly warm and secure.
It may be too late to change 2021 results, but you can approach New Year planning by asking executives, team members and yourself the following important questions:
How’d we do in 2021? The New Year beckons with fresh budgets and opportunity. To make the most of it, assess what worked in 2021 (and what didn’t). Don’t wait until Q1 to validate your decision-making. Show how you exceeded objectives; topped your competitors; and improved vs 2020. When you can, evaluate performance in the language of business (sales, efficiency and risk mitigation) rather than ‘PR speak’ (clips, AVEs, buzz). Consider an efficiency equation to show how you lowered the cost of performance: if your 2020 budget was $1,000 and you generated 1,000 positive placements, the cost-per-positive placement was $1. If your budget stayed flat in 2021 and you generated 2,000 positive placements, the reduced cost-per-positive placement shows improved ROI. Research and evaluation work best when refined throughout the year. If you missed 2021, make plans now to measure in 2022; then manage your programs toward an even better New Year.
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