Public relations and the ways in which we communicate are constantly evolving. As you look toward a new year for your business, it’s important to keep new and essential PR tools top of mind as they have the ability to make your outreach and engagement efforts easier and faster than ever before. In this article, we’ll explore seven essentials to help you adapt and be more successful with PR efforts in 2022.
Digital business card
As we move into a new year, consider upgrading your old school business cards for an eco-friendly, no-touch, high-tech model. A digital business card, also referred to as an electronic or virtual business card, allows users to share and save contact information quickly, without exchanging a tangible product. What’s great about digital business cards is that they can be customized with the information you wish to share, allowing you to get as general or specific as you want. For example, in addition to your standard contact information, company name and logo, you can include a picture, video, social media and links or QR codes that direct recipients to specific materials or destinations online.
If you’re an expert networker and find yourself handing out hundreds of business cards a year, a digital option may save you a bit of money as there are several digital business card providers that offer little to no-cost options. Two different options to consider if you’re interested in digital business cards are HiHello and Haystack. Both digital card providers offer a wide array of integrations that can help streamline the back end of your business, making networking easier and more efficient.
Editorial calendars are the ultimate guide to figuring out the topics and themes that publications will cover throughout the year. If you’re interested in having your business, product or service considered for or included in a 2022 issue, you’ll want to consult the publication’s editorial calendar to see where you’d be a good fit. Most publications offer easy access to editorial calendars directly on their website. If you can’t find the calendar, you can simply request a copy through the general contact form on the website or email the editor.
Downloading and reviewing editorial calendars is a great way to gain insight into what matters most to the writers and the time line they are working toward. Keep in mind that many journalists must work well in advance of the issue date to source their articles and submit content to editors for review and approval. Be sure to reach out as soon as possible if you think you’re a good fit for a story or have something to offer. Even if the journalist isn’t working on the story yet, they are keen to collect sources and circle back when the time is right.
Digital press kit
If you’re interested in garnering visibility for your business in 2022 and beyond, you’ll want a digital press kit. Also referred to as a media kit, press kits provide access to information about your business, products and overall brand. Essentially your business’ highlight reel, a press kit contains materials you will use repeatedly throughout the life of your business, including fact sheets, bios, logos, photos, contact information and more.
If you already have a press kit developed, conduct a thorough audit now to ensure that all content is accurate and information is up to date for the coming year.
Variations of your logo are an absolute must for 2022. Logo variations are alternate versions of your logo, such as transparent backgrounds or square-shaped. Keep in mind that variations are not different logos, they are simply different versions of your existing logo (e.g., a one-color version if your logo traditionally has more than one color).
By having variations of your logo, you can quickly deliver on requests for different sizes and formats. Having variations of your logo readily available will also allow you to quickly use your logo throughout the year. For example, you may be thinking about attending a conference this year where you’ll want custom swag and branded attire. Once you have your logo variations created, it’s simply a matter of plug and play when it comes to ordering branded materials.
Every business needs a holistic brand identity, not just a logo. If you don’t already have a brand identity, including logo designs, a color palette, creative elements and photography to support your aesthetic, make this a top priority for your business. These assets will set the tone for, and be used in, everything else you do in your business.
If you’re interested in pitching more media in 2022 while also gaining a better understanding of what happens to the emails you send, GMass is for you.
An extension program that can be added directly into your Google email account, GMass allows you to not only schedule emails and send out mass emails that have been tailored to the recipient, but also automates follow-ups and manages bounce backs and automatic replies. The A/B Testing feature of the extension allows you to see which subject line received more engagement. Additionally, you have access to data that shows which reporters opened your email and replied to your email.
The data your business can glean from GMass insights will allow you to tailor your pitches, track outreach and, most importantly, help you build a media list of contacts who actually engage with your information.
Headshots are a must in 2022. A nice headshot ensures you’re making the best impression possible as a photo can say just as much, if not more, than your business logo and branding. Headshots can be one of the most reused assets you invest in.
As professional photos may be a bit pricey, sticking to timeless poses and looks will allow you to get longer use out of your photos. Additionally, talk to your photographer about capturing photos with you engaging with your business. For example, if you’re a baker, try posing with different baked goods that are best sellers in your shop or snap a few shots of you decorating products. Keep in mind that having a few different headshot options allows you to keep your online accounts looking fresh and helps you share a bit of variety with external sources.
The aforementioned tools can help you accomplish great things in the coming year. But remember, to be most successful in your efforts, you need to set goals. Goals will help ensure that your efforts are achieving the results you desire, keeping you focused and grounded in your planning and execution throughout the year.
While there are free and low-cost tools to help elevate your PR efforts in the new year, you don’t have to — or even need to — do it all. Focus on the tools and tricks that are best for your business. Try selecting one or two ideas from this article and see what you’re able to accomplish on your own. If you find that you’re not getting what you want from your efforts, consider hiring a professional to help.