New Year’s Resolution: Reevaluate Your Communications Plan

Starting January 1st, every organization should strategically reevaluate your communications plans as an essential goal for starting the new year. Almost every industry has experienced changes in the last few years. So, 2024 is a perfect time to take a fresh look at what your marketing and communications teams are doing, what is working, and what isn’t. Here at Chemistry PR and Multimedia, we’d like to offer a few New Year’s resolutions to think about as we head into 2024.

New Year’s Resolution 1: Become More than an Order TakerCustomer Service

In small companies, marketing and communications teams manage a lot of tasks. It’s easy to get caught up in a cycle of meeting deadlines and “filling orders” from other departments.

“We need a marketing piece for this new product.”

“We need materials for the upcoming trade show or conference.”

But when our jobs find us racing from one project to the next, it’s easy to lose your focus on strategy. It gets harder to ask, “OK, but why do we need this piece? What’s going to be the most effective in this instance?”

Make 2024 the year you get off that hamster wheel and become more than an order taker. Carve out some time to re-evaluate your communications plans. Take a close look at what collateral you have, what online channels you’re using, and what messages you’re putting out.

More importantly, put metrics into place to measure the effectiveness of what you do. Don’t simply count the number of social media posts and how many people they reached. Measure things like leads generated and conversions made.

And then take the time to regularly monitor those metrics. Continuous evaluation and reevaluation of your communications plan and its tactics will accomplish several things:

  • It will demonstrate the return on investment of your efforts.
  • It will help the C-suite, board, or other company leaders understand that PR and communications generate revenue and aren’t expenses to cut during downturns.
  • It will make it easier to stand up and ask the questions you need to make sure the work your team produces fits into a larger strategy and doesn’t just respond to the next “hot potato” someone throws your way!

New Year’s Resolution 2: Re-evaluate Your TeamTeam Building

We know – it sounds scary to say you’re going to re-evaluate your communications team. It sounds like someone is going to be out of a job. But hear us out.

As communication becomes more complex and each tactic becomes more specialized, you need to make sure you have a team that is large enough and skilled in the correct areas to accomplish what needs to be done.

As companies grow, they can no longer expect one person – or even a team of just a few people – to do all the social media work as well as produce all the graphics and write all of the copy.

Take the time to reevaluate your communication team’s capacity and where each member’s skills, talents, and interests lie. Then, figure out a plan for additional hires where you see gaps.

Get creative with how you might bring on the talent you need. These days, many people are looking for the flexibility of part-time and freelance work. So, you might be able to build your team’s capacity without making the commitment that a full-time employee would require.

New Year’s Resolution 3: Commit to Adopting One New Strategy or TacticNew Strategy

Every year we see new social media channels burst on the scene, or new tools claim to make our work easier. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the options available.

This year, commit to one new strategy or tactic. Just one! But commit to it. Don’t try it once or for a brief time and then jump to the next thing. Set your goals, set a budget, and create, execute, and reevaluate the communications planafter a set period.

If it’s effective, fantastic! If it doesn’t live up to its hype, you can abandon it knowing you gave it a solid, tested try but it’s not the right strategy or tactic for your business.

Use AINew Year’s Resolution 4: Re-evaluate Your Use of AI

ChatGPT has been with us for over a year and lots of other online tools and platforms are adopting some form of AI. As a communications professional, you’ve probably tried out at least a couple.

Now is a good time to reevaluate what the role of AI will play in your communication plan. LinkedIn is filled with posts that warn about the inaccurate information ChatGPT will sometimes generate. And legal and ethical concerns about plagiarism are beginning to dominate the conversations.

But there’s no question that AI makes some of our work easier. And like it or not, it’s here to stay. So now is a good time to figure out how you’ll use AI in your work. What level of use is ethical to you?

Not everything can – nor should – be created with AI. But are there elements you can use AI for, such as headline creation or keyword generation? How will you fact-check what it produces? How much editing will your AI-generated content go through?

Answer these questions, come up with policies around using AI in your content creation, and you will be better able to address any challenges it might pose.

New Year’s Resolution 5: Give Your Crisis Communication Plan AttentionCrisis Plan

When companies had to pivot to fully remote work within a matter of days, it became clear how important it is to communicate effectively in a crisis. But as the early days of the pandemic fade into memories, it can be easy to put a project like reevaluating a crisis communication plan on the back burner.

Ideally, you should review your plan every year. But if you haven’t, now is the time! Companies have experienced a lot of staff turnover since 2020, so there is an excellent chance that some of the people responsible for executing a plan have changed.

Between retirements, layoffs, and people looking for greener pastures, the spokespeople and subject matter experts you would normally have turned to might not be around anymore.

So, review your plan. Make sure your messaging is still on target. Make sure you know who your spokespeople will be and make sure they are trained for speaking to the media.

It was clear in 2020 which companies had prepared to address a crisis. Even if no one predicted a global pandemic specifically, some companies responded more quickly and more appropriately than others. It’s worth your time and effort to reevaluate your crisis communication plan and make sure your company is up to the challenge the next time.

If your team needs to re-evaluate its crisis communication plan or your spokespeople could benefit from media training, Chemistry PR and Multimedia contact us!

Chris KubanChris Kuban started Chemistry PR and Multimedia with a vision to effectively formulate corporate and non-profit brands across the country. He is an expert in Media Relations, Event Management and video production. Working with a team of local and national suppliers, vendors, employees, and consultants has allowed him to coordinate more than 246 national events that help deliver the ROI his clients seek. Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn. Chris is proud that his firm is ranked one of the Best St. Louis Public Relations Firms in the region.