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Ten PR new year resolutions for 2018

If you believe in making new year resolutions, here are ten that could make sure your next working year is a successful one. If you don’t believe in making resolutions, one PR chief explains why he completely agrees with you.

1. Set specific targets

Lawrence Francis, director at agency Premier PR, says: “Like most people, I have tried (and failed) to keep many new year’s resolutions. In the last few years though I have adopted a different approach, which has been much more effective and motivating, and which this year I hope to get the rest of my team here all doing. Instead of the negative approach of trying to not do xxx, which seems to have become the norm for new year’s resolutions (and invariably leads to demotivating failure within a week!), I am now a firm believer in setting new year’s targets.

“Write a list of the five things that you want to achieve in the next year, and use these as a way to keep motivated and keep a sense of perspective. It is a great way to take stock, work out what is important to you, and most importantly start the year with a sense of positivity (something that can be challenging in these uncertain times!) The key is making sure that the targets are just about challenging enough to motivate, but still achievable (we have all joined a gym and then never gone…). Crucially though for me, is the fact that these targets are NOT work related. Work is target driven enough, however by taking a bit of that spirit and using it to prioritise the things that really matter to you, it can work wonders in ensuring a healthy work-life balance.”

One man who is setting himself five work targets is James Kaye, director at marketing agency Big Ideas Machine. These are:

2. Get to grips with delivering marketing automation for clients

“As a B2B PR agency we’ve invested a lot a time and money in a marketing automation platform, and now we need to prove its worth to clients and prospects.”

3. Create a realistic agency content plan

“And try to stick to it. Like many reading this, we spend all our time telling clients to create fantastic content and then fail to do it ourselves. We have a ton of ideas sitting there, but it’s a veritable mountain of material that we need to produce and then get out there.”

4. Prepare for GDPR

“Which looms large. Not very sexy and it's like a terrible piece of homework I know that I have to do and keep putting it off.”

5. Be firm with clients

“And say no to demanding clients, stop over-servicing and be firmer with p*ss-taking prospects.”

6. Network

Kaye is surely not alone in believing that networking is always going to be a vital part of PR. Making the effort to be connected, and not just virtually, is bound to be a good move in 2018.

7. Say ‘no’ more often

Hester Grainger, freelancing as Five Foot PR, says: “My new year’s resolution is learning to say ‘no’ more. It’s very easy to say ‘yes’. And we all do a lot. Before you know it, you’ve said yes to helping your colleague with a campaign they are working on, even though you’ve got stacks of work yourself. Yes to making a round of coffees when you are trying to hit a deadline. Yes to taking the minutes on a client call, even though you did it last time.

“It can actually be really hard to say no. No to a client’s idea, that you really don’t think is going to work, even though they insist. No to a potential client because you just don’t have the relevant experience. No to someone who is trying to dramatically slash your day rate.

“So 2018 is going to be the year of me saying no more. It’s not because I’m miserable – quite the opposite. By saying no, actually leaves more time to say yes.”

8. Get fitter

Pally Kaur, senior consultant at agency Cherish PR says: “One of my new year resolutions is to train for half a marathon with my colleagues. I started Run Club three months ago so the team could break up their day and get themselves mentally and physically fit. It’s such a great way to release stress and makes you feel so energised and motivated for the rest of the day. It also strengthens relationships within the team -those who train together, stay together! Running three miles to 13 miles will be a huge milestone for Run Club. I can’t wait, so bring it on 2018.”

9. Learn new skills

Hannah Jones, account manager at communications consultancy Freshwater UK, says: “No matter how much I learn on the job, I always benefit from our internal training sessions with colleagues from each division, as well as paid-for external away days. In 2018, I want to keep gaining new skills and build on what I already know.”

10. Share knowledge

Jones explains how she plans to share any new skills she learns: “Our agency is certainly fast-paced and throws up new challenges each day, but it’s worth taking a moment to think of others in your team. Sharing knowledge with junior members of staff is a great way to ensure people grow and feel supported.”

Say ‘no!’ to resolutions

Simon Turton, owner of agency Opera PR, explains why he has resolved not to make any new year resolutions, as he says they never work: “They never really work because we fall into the same trap every year, which goes along the following lines. By the end of October we can see that a New Year is looming and that the current year is starting to wind down. Around the same time of year – probably as soon as the clocks have gone back to GMT – we start to reflect on the year so far and realise that we haven’t lost those extra pounds, or learned Mandarin, got that promotion or achieved any of our resolutions.

“But, we don’t get downhearted or try to understand what went wrong with the resolutions we made for the current year because we can look forward to another 1 January and next year we all promise to do X, Y AND Z!

“The great thing is that once we have decided that we can start again on 1 January we get a breathing space of eight weeks when we can do whatever we want – eat, drink and be very merry, and put off those job applications or new marketing plans or whatever else we’re procrastinating over — because come January it’s going to different. Then, in about 10 months’ time we start the process all over again.

“There is nothing wrong with planning to increase your company’s turnover, or win more clients or get that new job or even learn Mandarin, but don’t delay implementing those decisions. Some of those decisions might coincide with the start of the new year, but if you’re in September and sales are sliding or you have extra pounds you want to lose, then arrange a company meeting and plan for success or start running to lose the weight, but don’t give yourself any wriggle room; don’t delay, because by the time 1 January comes around you will have emotionally moved on.

“I think if I had to condense my views on resolutions – and how to make them work – think of these promises like robins. Yes, robins, because we think that robins are only around at Christmas, but they’re actually with us all year round. So, don’t wait for January to resolve to make changes – for yourself or your company – act now.“

Whatever your resolutions – whether you want to get fitter for work by actually getting fitter; or to set yourself particular work or personal goals; or to make resolutions throughout the year rather than just for January – we wish you a happy and prosperous 2018!

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