You're halfway through what’s been a rather interesting year in business, politics, brand successes and blunders and Game of Thrones developments. Which is to say: you still have another five solid months to make this your best year ever as a communicator. First, you’ll need to take stock of what you and your team have accomplished and perhaps reset priorities.
Gone are the days when we stick to an annual marketing or PR plan. We must be flexible and open to throwing the whole thing out and starting over if needed. We must not only acknowledge our mistakes but learn from them: after all, what else are mistakes for? We need to self-edit our days so we are not drowning in the social media pool while a wave of more important activity is happening over there. We need to be more social, moving away from our desks every now and then, and into the real world where we can learn from our peers and practice talking to one another.
Effectively juggling these important areas of communication will no doubt position you as the ringleader:
- Measurement: How is your brand stacking up against the Barcelona Principles? Do your key performance metrics make sense or are they more a self-congratulatory effort to stay under the radar?
- Media Relations: If you were challenged to set up a handful of in-person meetings with journalists in your space, would they accept your invitation?
- Social Media: Are you engaging with stakeholders on their social media turf? Are you up to speed on Snapchat, Periscope and other platforms should they emerge as new hangouts for your customers?
- Team Diversity: Does everyone on your team look like you and think like you? That’s not a good thing.
- Brand Equity: What’s your story? Really, what is your brand story? Are you telling it correctly?
- Your personal brand: Are you investing in your personal development? What skills do you need to hone? Do you have a voice among your stakeholders? Are you leaving your office at least once a week and meeting up with peers and interesting people who will help you see yourself and your business in new ways?
These suggestions are a few among many. I am sure you’ve got your own ideas for a mid-year audit and I encourage you to share them. If in the course of juggling all these initiatives you drop the ball, that’s OK, pick it back up. Mostly likely your peers were posting a photo of their breakfast burrito while that happened.
- Diane Schwartz