The End-of-Year PR Agency Hustle
Last week I posted on LinkedIn about what the last 50 days of the year look like for a Tech PR pro. The short story: It’s a tough time of year. The last 50 days are what I call, “the end-of-year PR agency hustle.” We’re simultaneously trying to prove the value of what we did all year to our clients with End-of-Year reports, while at the same time working on plans, messaging, and contracts for 2020 renewal. On top of that, the biggest technology tradeshow in the world, CES, is just around the corner, which means pitching, planning, awards, and budgets have all just kicked off. There’s also the vendor assessment that comes at this time every year, as we review what tools we’re going to subscribe to and our team does trials of new vendors for clipping, media databases, design programs, etc. All of this is happening with the same underlying current that everyone has coursing through their weeks this time of year–the holidays are here, and we’re trying to spend a little more time with our families and loved ones.
At this time of year, we’re basically saying to clients, “Here’s all the great stuff we did for you, here’s what we plan to do for you next year, here’s what it costs.” But we’re a consulting agency at the very core. We’re not just pulling out a cookie cutter plan from a file and slapping our rates on it. We start PR, social media, content, and consulting planning meetings in September, and the planning is broad. Our whole team contributes with ideas, research, and data to support our programming and recommendations for storylines, pitch themes, messaging, events plans, campaigns, and strategy. Team members are already building out 2020 editorial, speaking, awards, and content calendars across all kinds of vertical markets. We’re studying new trends, assessing new programs, and studying up on new techniques so that we go into 2020 with the very best in our pocket and our clients never have to fear that we’re not at the absolute top of our game. Loads of time, effort, and brainpower go into these plans so that at the end of 2020 our clients can sit back and see all that we’ve accomplished, map it to the plan we set out to do, and, hopefully, understand our value at a glance.
This time of year has its stressors for sure, and it can feel like a lot coming to a head at once, but it also holds a special kind of magic for me. And no, I’m not talking about the magic of the holiday season (although I really do love that, too). I’m talking about the sparkle of the new PR year – a fresh start to set new goals or reset old goals. A time to review the necessities of a program, ask yourself what is really going to make a difference in your business and what matters to your brand, and then prioritize it. It’s not exactly a clean slate, but it is a chance to reassess. It’s that fresh white snow ahead where anything is possible. So, despite all the craziness, I kind of love this time of year, when the opportunities seem endless.
If you haven’t started planning for 2020, don’t fret. There are still 44 days left, after all. Call us, we can help. 2020 is a great time to start, or restart, your PR program.