New Year’s Resolutions for the Nonprofit Public Relations Pro

By on Wednesday, December 28, 2011
It’s that time of year again when so many of us go on diets, pledge to quit doing things that are bad for us, and face a new year full of promise and hope. If you’re a public relations professional or communicator working with nonprofit organizations, what can you resolve to do differently in 2012 that will help you improve?

Establish one new habit that will help you work smarter, not harder. It might mean investing time in learning how to really use your smartphone, committing to scheduling more of your day and not just meetings so you can be more efficient, going thru your regular e-news subscriptions and unsubscribing from two dozen and declining to get on any more lists, or investigating new software that will help you manage social media more effectively. But do something in your work practice – how you work – that will make your working life better.

Forge connections – real ones. Resolve to always sit down at your desk 24 hours after returning from a meeting to enter new contacts, send requested follow-up information or make calls to schedule appointments. Be an authentic networker – not a fake. Set up appointments for casual coffee or tea dates with other PR professionals – especially if you work on your own as a solo PR shop.

Invest time in building relationships with reporters, not just media databases. Anyone can buy a list of reporters or subscribe to a media database and sned out news releases. But it takes authenticity, persistence and passion to build good relationships with reporters and to understand the stories they are working on and how your organization or cause might fit. Share information and be helpful, even if it doesn’t directly benefit you or your organization directly. Thanks to social media, many reporters today are more approachable than ever.

Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, a virtual and independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media advice, writing services, and creative design work for publications and websites (portfolio). Ami blogs frequently about media relations, social media, public relations and other issues. She also reviews books on her blog about public relations, nonprofit life, work-family balance and social media practice. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.

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