By Lucy Smith, Consociate Media Winter 2016 Intern
Want to take your PR, Communications, and Marketing to the Next Level in 2016? Put these tools in your toolbox.
- A Plan
If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up somewhere else. While it is nearly impossible to plan for December in January, it is important to have a goal of where you would like to be by the end of the year. Set broad, goal based marketing plans and strategies to implement each month through specific events, blog posts, and campaigns.
- Responsive Web Site with Blog
You want your customers to have a good website experience, no matter what size screen they are using. This type of website allows shifting in size and resolution to fit itself to any size screen- laptop, iPhone, android device, kindle, and more- allowing easy website access anywhere. Having a blog as a part of this website adds to the value. Blogs provide a platform to provide useful information or tips that will drive traffic to your website and establish you as a prominent source of information.
- Instagram Account
Instagram is a social media powerhouse. Any business, large as Capital One or as small as your neighbor’s bakery on Main Street is able to tell its unique story through images to a wide audience. Examples of Instagram success stories can be found on their website: https://business.instagram.com/. Click the link to learn more.
- Twitter Handle
Like Instagram, Twitter provides a method to link with a large and diverse community. Follow groups, pages, and people that connect to your business and your goal: this includes your customers, competitors, businesses whose practices you admire, and your personal connections in the business world. What sets Twitter apart from Instagram is you can add a link to every single tweet, enticing visitors to the company’s website.
- Personal Profile AND Company page on LinkedIn
The company page provides a platform to broadcast messages, while your personal page allows you to develop relationships with people you know and work with.
- Press Release Template
Creating a press release template for your business dramatically shortens the time between when the story happens and when the people learn about it. With a uniform template, reporters will know what to expect when you send them a press release, allowing them to absorbs information more efficiently and correctly, and you ensure the same kind of information will be presented in each release.
- List of Target Media, Outlets, and Reporters
Where are you going to find your customers, and through what media will they most easily find you? This will have to start with research. Look at your most loyal clients to see what they are reading and where. Which newspapers and magazines have a following that most closely resembles the type of client you want to attract? Once you have nailed down the reporters and outlets that will tell your story to the audience most interested in hearing it, you can mark this tool off your checklist.
- Professional Portrait/Headshot
This tool is one of the easiest to add to your box with the most impact. A professional headshot looks polished, prepared, and, well, professional! It lets your customers know that you care about the work you do. With the internet, it is very likely that the first time your customers meet you will not be in person, but through your website. If you don’t currently have a headshot there, you need one, and if you do, does it say everything you want it to about yourself? Does that photograph help to brand you as the type of professional you want others to perceive you as? If not, hiring a professional can make that photo a reality.
- MailChimp Account
MailChimp is an email marketing software through which you can design, save, and send email templates to all your customers while also measuring the success of each email through its analytics page. By seeing which emails were opened the most and which emails inspired people to visit your website, you can tailor your next emails to fit the wants of your clientele.
- Google Analytics
Google Analytics’ slogan is “turning data insights into action.” Analytics tracks movement on your website, giving you detailed information about that activity: how long each person remains on your site on average, whether or not they had visited your website before, and the search engine or site that led them to your website- all in real time!
Up for some live video blogging? With Periscope, you can let your customers be in on the action, even when they aren’t there. This app allows you to live broadcast everything that is going on around you at the current moment.
Have a smartphone to take photos supporting your communications online and on social media.
All set? Grab your tools, it’s time to get to work.