The new year is a great reason to pull yourself together, make resolutions and plans and stick to them. So why not do the same for your business?

When it comes to PR, planning is key. Not only because you have something to work towards but to also ensure you meet the lead times of the press and save yourself some time as well.

My advice is to put together a calendar (even if it’s just for the first six months) of important dates and then create some content around them. You can use a hard-copy or a digital version for this.

It might just be an awareness day that is relevant to your business and you want to do some social media work around, or it might be a significant date, such as an anniversary, that you think would make a great story in the local press.

Put aside some time (between Christmas and New Year is always ideal), take yourself off to a tea shop and sit and plan your PR calendar for the year.

Start by researching some awareness days that are relevant. So, for example, if you’re a tourism business, English Tourism Week starts on March 17th and is organised by Visit Britain so there will be a lot of buzz around it.

Maybe you’d like to plan some offers for that week or create some content that will show off your business, which you can utilise by using the relevant hashtags such as #OMGB on social media.

Or you might want to hold an open day, in which case, make sure you tell the local press about it. Remember that magazines have a much longer lead time than newspapers and the radio, so you want to have plans in place by mid-January to ensure you get a wide coverage in March.

Again, planning in advance makes this easier.

Then add to it by putting in key dates for your business, such as launches, anniversaries and events.

To round it off, I’d suggest penning in the deadlines of magazines that you want to work with, so you can ensure you get copy to them in time. If you write to the editor, they will be happy to provide this information for you.

By setting aside half a day to do this, you will save yourself a lot of time in the long run and won’t be caught out by looming deadlines.

To help you out, I have a blank digital PR calendar which I can send to you to start filling out.

To get your copy for free, please get in touch.