How has your 2023 panned out so far? Have you been resolute in sticking to your resolutions? From setting professional goals to Dry January, we find out how PRs are planning to make sure 2023 starts out well, and then continues into being a great year.
1. Make meetings more productive
Yvonne Maher, managing director of PR agency Cognito: “One of my New Year resolutions for 2023 is to have better and more productive meetings. After a year of virtual/in-person/hybrid meetings, I think by the end of year, many of us were suffering from meeting fatigue. I intend therefore in 2023 to ensure that I stick to three simple rules: 1) every meeting has an objective with clear agenda points to give everyone the best chance to come prepared and participate; 2) put the discussion points that need a decision at the beginning of the meeting to encourage ownership and accountability; and 3) be curious and actively listen in the meeting, turn off alerts and devices (if in an in-person meeting).
“Of course I will need to strike a balance; meetings happen that are unplanned. As we are a people business, clients and teams will want to talk if an issue comes up, if something is on their mind, or if they have a great idea that want to share. I will keep encouraging transparency, and will always have time to listen and talk.”
2. Connect with what really matters
Isabel Hope-Urwin, content and communications manager and EDI Lead at The London Clinic: “I love a new beginning, whether it’s a fresh notebook or a new year. For me, resolutions are about self-reflection, creativity, but also forgiveness. No, I haven’t written that short story yet; and yes, my new-found addiction to Baileys isn’t the perfect ending to an otherwise pleasingly healthy year. I welcome resolutions as a means to stop the self-flagellation and reassess.
“Like many comms folk, I’m a glutton for progress (as well as cream liqueurs). Not so long ago, stopped in our tracks by a pandemic, we wondered if things could be done differently, before the relentless pace of life reabsorbed us into the momentum of more, more, more. From the content we create to how we work together, I’d like my 2023 to be about taking a step back and reconnecting with what really matters - it could be quite different to what we're doing right now.”
3. Rethink content
Rachel Escio, digital PR and content specialist at internet marketing agency Thrive: “My new year's resolution is to rethink my content to maximise growth value, both on a personal and professional level.
“I keep a handwritten gratitude journal as well as printed photos so I have to constantly update those to be able to have a good reflection of my own aspirations and cherish the relationships I have developed throughout my journey. On the other hand, I shall try harder on knowledge sharing through public content and stir conversations with colleagues in the industry, across all markets so that whilst not all of us may be able to directly work together, we can still create opportunities to build and support each other along the way.
“I believe it is important to note that as we settle in the new normal, we should also set a new way of seeing things and navigate through with new and inspired intentions.”
4. Take time to re-evaluate
Richard Knowles, head of PR at full-service agency Low&Behold: “It is time to re-evaluate - not in the sense of looking at how to value media coverage for clients, but in the metaphorical sense, about how we view our working and personal lives.
“We’ve ridden a huge rollercoaster of emotions since winter 2019/2020, so my 2023 resolution (to last the full 12 months) will be to take stock.
“Let’s not make 2023 another rollercoaster of PR client coverage emotions. Avoid celebrating too much the tier-one coverage and don’t agonise too much about only achieving tier-three coverage.
“We’ll all face more challenges as the year goes on, so let’s reflect on our achievements. As a colleague once said to me, and I’ve repeated this to many others I work with; ‘remember, it’s PR not ER’.”
5. Gain new professional knowledge and skills
Caitlin Singh, communications executive at PR agency Definition Agency: “For 2023, professionally I’ll be looking to further my knowledge via training courses and industry events as I’ve unintentionally stalled these this year. Fingers crossed by the end of 2023 I’ll be a Google Analytics and Moz expert!”
6. Set plenty of challenges
Loreen Fraser-Owusu, client director at PR agency Milk and Honey: “I make my resolutions in the last week of December. Except they’re not resolutions so much as challenges I set myself for the coming year. I start with my biggest goal, so that could be aiming for a promotion or personally ensuring a set amount of new business wins, or getting six good hours of sleep a night! Then I add in a few smaller, fun goals to make it more interesting. Last year I set out to relearn French and Spanish so that in two or three years I can say I’m semi-fluent. Next year I also want to learn to make clothes in between practising my French and Spanish vowels. Because, well why not?”
7. Add to my life
Francesca Baker, communications consultant at expert network And So She Thinks: “For me it's always about adding to my life rather than taking away. In 2023 there will be more running, more book clubs, more random Hackney wine bars, more spontaneous Wednesday night gigs. From a work point of view it's choosing work that nourishes me, whether that's due to the cause, the sector, or the people I work with. There's been some absolute highs of 2022 (570 pieces of coverage for one campaign!) but also some challenges, and I think I've learnt from them so am better prepared for 2023. I would say I'll get more organised around the house, but in the words of Frances Ha, ‘I'm not messy, I'm busy’.”
8. Go on long walks
Jess Clayton-Berry, PR administration assistant at agency jmm PR: “I am going to start going for long walks again, which was a hobby during lockdown. Long walks are a chance to explore local villages and enjoy the picturesque countryside. Even just going once a week for the fresh air and exercise is beneficial.”
9. Have a dry January …
Yvonne Maher: “With great trepidation, I am doing dry January for the first time in 10 years. In 2022, I took full advantage of all of the industry events; receptions, award ceremonies, client dos, Christmas drinks, international conferences rekindling relationships with my contacts and making new ones. It made a huge difference to meet clients in person (some for the first time!) and build closer relationships. I was also very fortunate to be able to travel and meet all of my global Cognito colleagues at our all company offsite in Istanbul, and travel to our offices in New York and across Europe. I had almost forgotten how good we are as an industry at networking. I need a month off to get ready for the conference and awards season to start again with gusto in February!”
10. … But make sure plants are well watered
Leah Jones, deputy managing director at agency CommsCo: “My 2023 resolution includes cooking more from scratch and trying to keep the office plants alive. The office plants had mixed success over the past year, so 2023 is the year I cultivate a green thumb.”
If you have failed to stick to your own resolutions, we hope the above have inspired you to make some more!
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