Let the calendar remind you not just that it’s January—but it’s also 2010! It’s that time of year again: time to make a well-intended list of our priorities for the new year—all of which we’ll forget come Jan. 16 or so. But it shouldn’t be so. When doing your company’s strategic planning, new year’s resolutions are not made to be broken. They should chart your company’s success for the next 365 days and well beyond.
If you’re having trouble making your company’s new year’s resolutions with respect to your public relations, marketing and overall branding goals, here—allow us:
1. This is the year I will finally align my brand’s identity with the brand we wish our company to have, not just that which has sloppily evolved over time.
2. I resolve to at least monitor Internet conversations relevant to my company, its product or services, my industry and my competitors, even if I do not plan to “engage” in social media in 2010.
3. I will engage the C-suite of my organization to align the business’s overall objectives and priorities with that of my entire communications program.
4. I commit to bringing my Web site out of the 1990s and into the second decade of the 21st century.
5. I will not jump blindly into social media until I have identified my audiences, goals and metrics and have defined success.
6. I will understand the difference between the press release in 2010 and the press release of 2001 and will learn how I can leverage the inherent advantages of the press release, version 2.0.
7. I will stop wishing that my company appeared on the first page of search results relevant to my industry and suite of services and will actually do something about it.
8. As the economy begins to turn the corner, I will maximize this opportunity I have to convincingly define my company’s identity, messaging, its differentiators, its value proposition and its market position, so that we can hit the imminent upturn firing on all cylinders.
9. If I have a blog, I will keep it updated, and I will use it as an outpost to drive traffic to my Web site and/or as a home base to which I will drive traffic from other Internet outposts, such as social media channels.
10. I will update or establish my company’s media kit, including our company profile, fact sheet and biographies of key personnel.
11. I resolve to have my social media policy drafted and in place by March 1, 2010.
12. I will conduct a thorough audit of my brand, my industry, my competitors and relevant trends existent on conversation platforms online, identifying strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOTs).
13. I shall examine every piece of marketing collateral, corporate identity or external representation of my company’s name, logo and description and make 100% sure that they all match—and that we’re happy with what they say.
14. I will commit to understanding how search engines are changing and what this all means to my business.
15. I will not have to make any of these resolutions again in 2011.
Tom Nixon is partner of Bingham Farms, Mich.-based Identity Marketing & Public Relations.