Many of you know me as the SEO Tips lady. (And if you don’t then you’re missing out, so seriously Google “SEO Tips Marenated” and then read the rest of the blog because we’re all geniuses here). What you don’t know is that I’m also secretly Red Branch Media’s PR Director! Well, it’s actually not a secret if you just read my bio and it happened like a couple of months ago.
Anyway, that’s beside the point. The point is, it’s a new year. And there are resolutions to be made. More importantly, there are resolutions to be kept. Which seems to be the hardest part about resolutions for most people. This year is my year.
While I nailed some noteworthy accomplishments in 2015 (made a human, earned my degree, started full-time at RBM and built my own PR department here…just to name a few) I want to make 2016 count. It’s not going to be the year that hides behind 2015’s leg like a shy toddler clinging to its mama. 2016 is going to come with even more accomplishments. I’m sure you want to hear them. So here they are, and I’m going to keep them ALL YEAR!
If you know nothing about PR, there’s one thing you should know, and it’s that relationships are crazy important. I’m not talking about love feels. I’m talking about networking with editors and reporters within your profession. I’ve only been working in PR at Red Branch for a few months so it’s been rocky, and mostly unsuccessful in gaining any traction with outlets. That’s because PR takes patience. If it weren’t for Cision, I wouldn’t have been able to make the small dent I’ve made thus far in even finding editors to talk to.
The first few months are spent building relationships with editors and outlets I want our clients to feature on. Most people don’t know who I am. Which means this year, I need to go above and beyond in relationship building. Cision can help me find numbers and emails so I can pick up the phone and chat with editors. It gives me twitter handles to influencers so I can tweet at organizations just to say I enjoy their content, then I can sign up for RSS feeds, regularly read the blogs of those I want placement on, read their emails and resources and really get to know the voices and tones of each outlet. Once I make a familiar face with the people in our client’s fields, I can start gaining a little more traction.
Am I Doing This Right?
My boss’ biggest (and most helpful) advice to the Branchers is to always read content that you want to emulate. Everyone likes to think they’re right and know everything, but the fact is, we don’t. That means I need to start picking up books and reading blogs of other successful PR managers. Trial and error works, but it’s not the only method to rely on. Every time I send out a pitch, I try a different tactic that I researched before sending it. PR is kind of a scary field to get into. It’s tricky because well, nobody really likes hearing from PR managers, but I can’t let that scare me. I have to become the practice and nail it…..like Batman would.
Every day at the Branch is packed with tasks, so it’s hard to set aside time to read up on best practices unless it’s research used toward an article. This year, I’d like to train my brain to work while listening to SoundCloud podcasts by PR pros so I can learn and work at the same time. They say you can’t do two things well at once, but determined Millennials have trained their brains to do at least 6 things at once. Plus, I recently started taking Elevate training sessions on my phone sooooo, I’ll basically be a pro at this listening and working stuff by February.
Let’s Go On an Adventure!
Maybe not quite the adventure we imagined as children, but when I say adventure, I mean traveling to conferences. The last PR conference I went to was in college….which was only a year ago, so not that long, BUT, what better way to learn about your profession than to get off your booty and go see and listen to professionals in your field! People that are out there on the battlefront, doing what you do each day, and KILLING IT. My bosses encourage the Branchers to find conferences in their department to attend so we can come back to the Branch with new and fresh ideas. As the world changes, professional worlds are changing even faster. We must keep up with the ever-changing ideas happening around us by seeing what other professionals are doing that we’re not, or seeing what we’re doing that we shouldn’t be doing. If I’m stuck in my own world all the time, I’m not going to make it very far.
Finding the conferences that aren’t 100 billion dollars and relevant to my exact needs is the tricky part. I don’t necessarily plan to actively search for conferences as I believe the perfect one will find me if I’m active in signing up for RSS feeds of credible sites I enjoy like PRnews online. Most of the big name websites in large industries like SEO and PR will hold conferences frequently and send emails to members. Conference e-vites be like, “I will find you, and I will inspire you.”
Life can’t always be about business. Anyone that knows me personally, knows I’m a big family girl. And last year I built my own family with my husband. While I want to kill it in my new department at Red Branch, I don’t want to lose sight of my home life. I’ve been very lucky to find the Branch as work-life balance is a big perk here. Since we specialize in HR technology, I research a lot of information about the American workforce and how hardworking we are, which is fabulous. But I’ve also learned that Americans are maybe too hard working sometimes and forget about the purpose of living and enjoying the people who love you most outside of work. As a new mama, I’ve caught myself staring at my little bundle and thinking about how I can’t let myself get swallowed in work and miss his entire childhood. It is not impossible to be an incredible, dedicated worker and have your family life too. When you’re at home with family, emails can wait. And they will wait.
Life can't always be about business. Check out these work-life balance resolutions being made: Click To Tweet
So here’s to 2016, the land of opportunities, growth and watching my love for my family bloom! What are your resolutions? Tweet us! @RedBranch