Somewhere between the pumpkin carving marathons and the fall leaves crinkling under my boots, 2016 started knocking on my door. I realized it was time to start making plans.
The end of the year is a great moment for reflection in the event industry, as well as the time to consider how you’d like to shape the next year. Business goals and sales forecasts no doubt take center stage, but it’s also the opportune time to review your PR and marketing strategies and goals to ensure you set yourself up for a successful 2016.
So where to start? First, take a look back on your PR-specific goals for the last year—including your target media outlets, desired frequency of features, and even the audience you were hoping to reach. Ask yourself: was it a success? If so, what strategies should be carrying over to next year? If not, what can you do differently?
From there, it’s time to review your media mentions for the year and dig deeper into your efforts. Questions to ponder include:
• Did I receive placements where I had wanted?
• Which placements served my company best?
• Which placements led to the most traffic to my site?
• Which features, if any, led to new business? New opportunities?
• What strategies worked best? The worst?
If you have a plan in place to track all efforts, then this should be a relatively painless exercise. If you don’t currently have a standard operating procedure for this, now is the best time to make it a priority.
And while you can absolutely continue to represent yourself, be open to the idea of delegating the task if you find your time being stretched. This could mean full wedding PR representation but also be open to smaller steps such as a PR intern or someone part time who could coordinate your editorial submissions. You know your strengths, resources, and talents best so consider how your time could be best spent as you make plans for 2016.
Much can change in the world of wedding PR. Magazines and blogs go out of business. New ones crop up. Editorial contacts change jobs. This is all the more reason your goals and plans should evolve. Take time in the last quarter of the year for an “informal state of the union” to ensure you don’t simply stick with the “same old, same old.” Be open to new opportunities and don’t be afraid of doors that sometimes close.
2016 has the potential to be your best year yet but the question remains: are you doing everything you can to ensure it is?
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding marketing and wedding PR firm OFD Consulting, which specializes in getting wedding professionals their brides. She is a highly sought after industry speaker and serves as a Public Relations adjunct professor for Virginia Commonwealth University.