5 Smart Moves to Start 2019 Off Right

How to hit the ground running in 2019.    Photo: Braden Cullum

How to hit the ground running in 2019. Photo: Braden Cullum

New year, new opportunity.

For communicators, a brand new year offers the chance to recharge and reset. Here’s are five ways to hit the ground running in January and keep the momentum going all year long.  

Get to know your audience even better:  Are the people in your audience still who you think they are? If you haven’t done an audience assessment recently, now is a great time to make sure you know who they are and what they’re looking for.  Consider doing some quick polls or surveys to uncover evolving interests or preferred channels and social media platforms. For a deeper dive, following our 6-step plan for creating audience personas can give you a real-time snapshot of your target audience so you can tailor messages that are sure to resonate with them. 

Set—and keep—a blogging schedule: Managing a blog can be a lot like having a gym membership – plenty of resolution-related activity early in the year that fades fast as the months tick by. And much like those resolution-inspired gym trips, you’re not going to see much of an impact unless you are writing consistently throughout the year. Frankly, a blog with a most-recent post that is eight months old is worse than no blog at all. Content has an increasingly dwindling shelf life, and if readers sense you’re not keeping up, they will click their way elsewhere.  Now is the time to create a blogging schedule that is consistent and achievable. One a month is better than a flurry and then going radio silent for months on end.

Build a better reporter relationship:  Now that the holiday rush is over, it’s likely that most journalists are not as swamped as they were at the end of the year. The new year presents a chance to reach out to reporters and start the conversation about your area of focus and ways you might be able to help them with ideas, expert sources, and real people who can help make their stories come to life. Check out our tips for stepping up your media outreachand then identify a reporter that is of high value to your organization and resolve to build a stronger relationship in 2019 — starting now.

Leverage the new year angle:  There’s really no other time of year in which people are more open to new ideas and ways they can better themselves, their communities and their careers. Use that to your advantage in your communications by encouraging greater interaction and involvement or floating some new initiatives or ideas that can spark greater engagement.

Try something new: The way people receive and process information continues to change at a breakneck pace. Don’t be afraid of embracing that change by exploring new trends, and new ways to communicate and connect with your key audiences. Maybe it’s using more video, or exploring guest blogging opportunities, or stepping up your SEO game to make sure you’re getting the most out of your content.

2019 is only a few days old. Make the most of it by putting these ideas into action.