What's the "secret?" Pretty much the same as how you make great wine, cider or extra virgin olive oil: start with good "ingredients" (talented, dedicated people -- clients and my team in the case of PR); prepare and plan; invest in technology; operate with integrity and the desire to continuously improve; welcome the "harvest" season while remembering it's not a permanent state; always thank your customers (media and; and be sure to add a healthy dose of patience.
And now, we are setting out to beat our best results. To do so, we are going to focus on the following:
1. Strong Relationships. Continue using a personal, warm and professional approach. Focus on building new ones. Spend more quality time in person via our portfolio events, desk-side chats, office tastings and client events. Join some new organizations in and out of our industry. Seek mentorship. Live the golden rule.
2. Create Compelling Content. Enhance the tell of the great story with the show of visuals. Bring broader educational pieces and thought leadership to the market. Connect as many dots and people as possible.
3. Work our Technology Hard. Use our new systemized approach to finding opportunities in our paid subscription database. Continue recording all contact, conversations and email details in our CRM tool to build our agency memory.
4. Listen. PR people love to talk. We also need to listen. Be comfortable with conversation pauses. Learn from those who aren't as quick to respond.
5. Shut Down. PR people are also constantly "on." It's not healthy. And it doesn't support the above four focus areas. I've already started putting my phone in the entryway vase and leaving it there at night. It was really hard -- I first read about Volkswagen doing this THREE years ago and have just started doing it. I've cheated a couple of times. But wow can I tell a difference when I do.
How will you beat your best in 2015?