“Authors, with so many years of experience behind us – not to mention the availability of calendars – you would think we would be better prepared for what’s about to come. Yet, year after year, many of us act astonished and caught unaware by this annual, easily predictable time of year that still somehow manages to sneak up on us.”
Once again, it’s the last quarter! Suddenly, the holidays are here! And before we know it, 2018 will have arrived and just like in the past we’ll be wondering where those final months of the year went and whether we made the most of them when we had the chance.
And too often we will shake our heads as we realize that we could have accomplished so much more with the right planning.
So before 2017 really starts winding down – and disappears for good – let me suggest a few things you can do with your year-end PR efforts that will help you feel that you did indeed make the most of the moment:
- First, put your marketing hat on. Think about the media outlets you can get your message in front of right now and in the coming weeks. Don’t limit yourself! Think print, both traditional and online. Think radio and TV. Think social media. Also, brainstorm on your own or with others to come up with ways you might be able to tie your message to the holidays, to year-end planning or to resolutions for the New Year. A financial professional, for example, could pitch something like: “4 Resolutions That Will Help You Become Financially Fit in 2018.”
- Think about consumers. Understand that the end of the year is when many people could be in the market for what you have to offer. Obviously, people are in a shopping mood, but they are also having their own thoughts about what they need to accomplish before the year ends or what they hope to achieve early in the New Year. That means there’s a good chance they are thinking about the products or services that you provide, so this is a good time to make sure your brand is in front of them.
- Act early. If you want to be part of the media’s holiday and year-end coverage – and you do! – you can’t wait until the holidays are upon us to start pitching your ideas to them. You can’t wait until two days before Thanksgiving to send a newspaper your great recipes for side dishes for the big meal. They already have such feature articles planned out far in advance. In that particular example, they probably would have already published the feature by that point. So don’t delay! When it comes to pitching the media with holiday and year-end ideas, you have to be like those retail stores that start displaying holiday merchandise long before many of us are even thinking about holidays. And Books make great holiday gifts!
So don’t let these final months, weeks and days of 2017 catch you unaware. When it comes to marketing and the last quarter of the year, we’re all somewhat like a football team in the waning minutes of a game. We may have accomplished a lot up to this point, but there’s still much to do before the final horn sounds.
NOW, another area we need to think about now that 2017 is winding down?
Marketing, Tax Deductions And Making Plans For 2018…
Just this week I was talking with a long-time client who was looking ahead to the direction he wants his publicity to take when we all head into 2018. The client definitely is planning to be active and signed on for 60 radio interviews that won’t even take place until the New Year has begun. Maybe that sounds like he and his publicity efforts are getting ahead of themselves – after all, 2017 still has two months to go – but actually, it’s smart planning.
Getting your publicity strategy lined up well in advance is, of course, a good idea on its own merits, but there’s a bonus when you spend those 2018 marketing dollars before Dec. 31. You get an immediate tax write-off for 2017! Good promotion coupled with tax savings makes for an excellent start to any year.
And the time to start thinking about your 2018 marketing is now. Publicity should not be a last minute add-on after everything else is set. It needs to be an integral part of your marketing plan as you set goals for the New Year.
Let’s take a look at a few reasons why:
Publicity has power. I can’t stress this point enough! Every day we see what it does for our clients when their names appear in such top-tier publications as the New York Times, USA Today, Forbes and others, or we land interviews for them on radio shows or TV broadcasts. And those who leverage that publicity and the credibility it buys have the greatest success in harnessing that power to build brand recognition.
Don’t forget social media. Traditional media is still very integral to your marketing efforts, but social media is also a key player that you can’t afford to neglect. For one thing, it’s an area where you have the greatest control over your message because you can tweet and post whenever you like. It’s also one of the best ways you can leverage your publicity. Sharing your media interviews and coverage with your followers provides social proof of your expertise and validity of your brand.
Past publicity can’t support you forever. Marketing is just one more area in life where you can’t rest on your laurels – or your press clippings! You quickly become old news if you don’t stay in front of your audience. Too many times I have seen people go heavy with a publicity campaign for just a few months and then sit back and think that should do it. Sadly, it just doesn’t work that way. You’re probably familiar with the adage “out of sight, out of mind.” PR works in the same way. If you don’t stay on top of things, there’s a good chance your competitors will and they will be the ones your potential clients or customers will encounter in the media!
So as you look to 2018 think about how marketing will fit in with your other plans and, if at all possible, pay for that marketing now and save the receipt for your 2017 tax returns. Spending those marketing dollars before the ball drops in New York might be one of the wisest financial planning moves you can make.
Marsha Friedman, CEO & Founder:
Marsha Friedman doesn’t like sitting still. As a prominent businesswoman, she has run her public relations firm successfully through prosperity and adversity, ironically having one of her best revenue years in the midst of 2009’s recession. As a publicity expert, she has authored the book Celebritize Yourself.
Marsha Friedman launched EMSI – in 1990. Her PR company represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports, and entertainment. Some of the more prominent names on her client roster are Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Former National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane, and the famous Motown Group, The Temptations.
She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity.