The new year is an exciting time – people come out the other side of the indulgence and fun of Christmas with a renewed focus and clarity about what they want. That, combined with the slowly lengthening days and nature’s hints here and there that spring is on the way, make it a wonderful time of year for looking ahead. Whether you say you are ‘choosing your New Year’s resolutions’ or the more business-like ‘goal setting’, one way or another it’s definitely a good idea to set out what you want to achieve in the next 12 months.

See also: The seven essential elements of an effective marketing plan

Make sure your goals are clear, realistic and measurable - and ensure you include taking the time to review your progress at regular intervals into your planning. Then you can start to identify which tools or resources you need to have in place to make them happen. PR and marketing should be a key element of business planning, whether you do it yourself or outsource it to a professional. PR campaigns I worked on with my clients last year helped them to successfully launch a new brand, get key coverage in their leading industry publication several months in a row and, in one case, sell out of a main product line completely. What would coverage like that mean for your business? Here are some tips for how you can weave PR into your plan and ensure 2019 is your most successful year to date!

Why PR?

I see every day how a successful PR campaign can transform a business. It’s amazing for brand awareness as people notice editorial far more than they do advertising. It builds trust, as consumers see journalists writing about your business and recognise that as approval for your products and services. It boosts enquiries from your target audience and that leads to an uptick in sales. I’m biased of course, but I really think PR is a fantastic tool and is worth investing time in.

See also: What is PR?

How to plan a PR campaign

So, if you want to have a go at getting some coverage in your industry or local area press, how do you ensure you’re supporting your 2019 business plan? Review your goals and look for anything that’s newsworthy. Perhaps you’re going to launch part of your property as a brand-new glamping or wedding venue? That’s definitely got PR potential, all you need to do is think about who you want to reach. Your glossy county magazines and local newspapers are a good place to start, as are the national wedding and country tourism press. If part of your plan is to outsource admin or accountancy to free up your time to work on the important stuff, you can keep that as internal news!

See also: Five tips to make sure you get the very most from your PR campaign

Integrating PR into your marketing

It’s important to ensure that your PR campaign supports your wider marketing strategy and vice-versa. That new wedding venue you’re opening? Why not hold a simple launch event so that press and customers can come and look around for themselves? Use social media to push out the message and share the images afterwards. If your 2019 strategy includes a new product and a change of direction, make sure your social media and website messaging supports this as well as your PR campaign.

Hopefully, this helps you understand why a PR campaign can be so useful and gives you a steer on how to include one in your plan for the year.