Each quarter provides an opportunity to evaluate what your company is doing well and where you can improve. The transition from Q1 to Q2 is particularly key as tactics and strategies implemented at the beginning of the year face a critical milestone. A strong communications program is the foundation for reaching all of your objectives. It may be time for an audit of your brand’s marketing, PR, public affairs, social media and overall communications efforts.
To enter the second quarter with momentum:
- Review your crisis communications plan. It should be short and actionable. Who are the contacts? Are cell numbers correct? What if you can’t use email? Have you envisioned all the risks and “what if” scenarios and prepared? If your data were to be hacked, who are the audiences that must be addressed and in what order? Crises are newsworthy events, and when customer, client and employee private information is at risk, it’s critical to have a response plan in place. The risks of ducking are greater than the risks of engaging. The goal is always to get pertinent information out quickly and accurately. Each crisis requires creative and quick decisions, so develop a response team and know your roles.
- Know in advance what reporters are planning to write. The advertising departments at trade publications and other media develop editorial calendars that highlight key sections for the year. Use them to pitch articles about your company. Suggest Q&As, story ideas and guest columns.
- Maximize your tradeshow investment. Tradeshows and conferences are a major investment. Make sure your media strategy takes advantage of speaking opportunities, including panel discussions. Don’t just buy a booth — present your expertise. Executives get new business when they speak publicly. Take every opportunity to distribute news releases, conduct press conferences and secure in-person briefings with confirmed media and local reporters. Reach out even to reporters not attending the show. The show gives you a news hook.
- Refresh your website. Update your company website with conferences and tradeshows you attended in the past year, and flesh out your “About Us” section with awards and nominations you received. Bios should be updated with new titles and achievements, and new hires should be added. A few fresh case studies would help. Put your best foot forward by showing your online audience what you’ve accomplished. Add logos of new clients and testimonials.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should evolve. If not much has changed in the way you measure success in recent years, take a second look at your current KPIs. Make sure they are aligned with the growth of the company and your new goals.
- Don’t forget about social media. Update your brand’s social media profile pictures, bios and messaging. A new profile page banner image is an easy instant facelift.