pr planning

Bought the 2019 Media Diary but didn't use it as much as you hoped?

If you bought last year’s media diary, but didn’t use it as much as you hoped, you may be wondering if it’s worth buying the 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner. 

With that in mind, here are some points to consider when deciding whether or not to buy again.

1.Don’t beat yourself up about it

We’ve all bought resources or signed up to online training programmes we haven’t used as much as we’d like to. Sometimes life or business (or both) just gets in the way. That doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t be able to create a media plan for 2020 - and stick to it.

2.Identify what went wrong (and how you could put it right)

If you bought last year’s Social Media Diary & Planner and didn’t use it as much as you hoped, it’s important to pinpoint why. Perhaps you didn’t set aside the time for an initial media planning session (highly recommended) which set you off on the wrong foot for the whole year. Or maybe you did some initial planning but didn’t make time for regular content planning/creation sessions (also highly recommended). It could be that you intended to make content planning/creation a focus in 2019, but something else took priority. If you can identify exactly what set you back, you can put strategies in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

This year I’ve created a blog post on how to get the most out of your 2020 Social Media Diary & Planner which should help you get off on the right foot.

3.Get support

If you’re worried you won’t be able to stick to a content plan, consider joining the Media Diary Owners’ Club for extra accountability. In addition to your A4 desk diary, you’ll get:

  • The Content Planning Masterclass (includes a workbook and online classes on content planning/repurposing plus creating shareable content)
  • digital version of the diary (so you can print off specific pages/sections)
  • Additional printables for use alongside the diary to help you plan your content
  • quarterly group coaching call with me to generate ideas for the following quarter and keep you on track.
  • A weekly content inspiration email (full of content ideas using upcoming dates from the diary)

All of which should help you stick to your plan.

4.Don’t be afraid to try again

Just because something didn’t work out the first time round, doesn’t mean it won’t work on your second try. I’ve tried and failed at least once with most things in my business e.g. email marketing, Facebook advertising, content strategy (to give you just a few examples). Each time I’ve just picked myself up and tried again.

The real game changer for me was starting a podcast. Committing to turning up every week - regardless of whatever else is going on in my life and business - has helped me take action (and keep taking it). If you’re committed to publishing quality content in 2019 that generates a constant stream of leads and sales for your business, you can and will make time for it.

If you’re still not sure, ask yourself this: ‘Will I be happy if I’m still struggling with content creation this time next year?’

If the answer is ‘no’ you should definitely consider trying the media diary again.  Read six compelling reasons to buy the 2020  Social Media Diary & Planner. 

5. Don't get hung up about how you use the diary

As this is the fourth year I’ve published the Social Media Diary & Planner, I can tell you with some confidence that people use the diary in different ways.

  • Some people write in it every day - using it both as their personal/professional planner
  • Others just use it for business - alongside a personal diary
  • Some people it in conjunction with a number of diaries and notebooks
  • A few (not many, but there’s definitely some) just use it as a reference book - specifically for the awareness days and key dates. 

And some environmentally conscious diary users who don’t want a hard copy of the diary have just bought the ‘digital’ version the Media Diary Owners’ Club.

All of which is absolutely fine.

Getting a return on investment is not about how much ink you add to the diary - it’s about the value it adds to your business (by saving you time, money, hassle and so on).

Bought the 2018 Media Diary but didn't use it as much as you hoped?

If you bought last year’s media diary, but didn’t use it as much as you hoped, you may be wondering if it’s worth buying the 2019 Media Diary.

With that in mind, here are some points to consider when deciding whether or not to buy again.

1.Don’t beat yourself up about it

We’ve all bought resources or signed up to online training programmes we haven’t used as much as we’d like to. Sometimes life or business (or both) just gets in the way. That doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t be able to create a media plan for 2019 - and stick to it.

2.Identify what went wrong (and how you could put it right)

If you bought last year’s Media Diary and didn’t use it as much as you hoped, it’s important to pinpoint why. Perhaps you didn’t set aside the time for an initial media planning session (highly recommended) which set you off on the wrong foot for the whole year. Or maybe you did some initial planning but didn’t make time for regular content planning/creation sessions (also highly recommended). It could be that you intended to make content planning/creation a focus in 2018, but something else took priority. If you can identify exactly what set you back, you can put strategies in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

This year I’ve created a blog post on how to get the most out of your 2019 media diary which should help you get off on the right foot.

Blank computer screen mockups illustration

3.Get support

If you’re worried you won’t be able to stick to a content plan, consider joining the Media Diary Owners’ Club for extra accountability. In addition to your A4 desk diary, you’ll get a digital version of the diary (so you can print off relevant pages/sections), the Media Diary Owners’ Manual (includes a workbook and online classes on content planning/re-purposing plus creating shareable content), a downloadable spreadsheet that allows you to import the dates/awareness days into your online calendar (Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, Sharepoint), additional printables to help you plan your content, quarterly live coaching calls with me and a dedicated Facebook group.

4.Don’t be afraid to try again

Just because something didn’t work out the first time round, doesn’t mean it won’t work on your second try. I’ve tried and failed at least once with most things in my business e.g. email marketing, Facebook advertising, content strategy (to give you just a few examples). Each time I’ve just picked myself up and tried again.

The real game changer for me was starting a podcast. Committing to turning up twice week - regardless of whatever else is going on in my life and business - has helped me take action (and keep taking it). If you’re committed to publishing quality content in 2019 that generates a constant stream of leads and sales for your business, you can and will make time for it.

If you’re still not sure, ask yourself this: ‘Will I be happy if I’m still struggling with content creation this time next year?’

If the answer is ‘no’ you should definitely consider trying the media diary again. Read six compelling reasons to buy the 2019 Media Diary here

[204] How to create a media calendar for 2018 (and why you need to)

One of the biggest challenges of doing business online is being consistent with your content.

In this episode, I explain how creating a media calendar could help you become more effective at planning and creating content - on your blog or vlog, in your email marketing and on social media. It will also help you generate ideas for newspapers, magazines, radio and TV.

Here’s what you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How to get started with media planning for 2018 - and why you should start doing it now
  • Tips on using awareness days and anniversaries - and how to make it relevant for your business
  • Advice on how to use your personal experiences in your media calendar

Key resources

Pre-order my 2018 media diary 

Free 2018 Media Calendar 

The Soulful PR Studio

Your Year in PR - my media planning masterclass

Video of Soulful PR Live

Soulful PR for Starters

A PDF guide to navigating the podcast episodes

Soulful PR Podcast Community on Facebook: chat about the show with Janet and other listeners

**MY BOOK ** Your Press Release Is Breaking My Heart (A Totally Unconventional Guide To Selling Your Story In The Media)

My FREE Soulful PR Facebook Community: tips & advice for promoting your business

Connect with me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

What to do next

If you enjoyed today’s show, please share it using the social media buttons at the top of this page.

I’d also love it if you could take a few minutes to  leave an honest review and rating for the podcast on iTunes. I read every one personally and may even read yours out on the show.

And don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, to get automatic updates every time a new episode goes live.

 

How to prepare for Your Year in PR

Committing to attend Your Year in PR, whether for just one day or for both days, is a big investment of your time and money. To get the most out of the experience, preparation is vital.

There is nothing more annoying than arriving at an event feeling flustered because you’re late, don’t have everything you need – or even that you haven’t got the dress code right for the occasion.

With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about preparing for Your Year in PR.

1.Set up a dedicated email folder for Your Year in PR

Redirect any mail relating to Your Year in PR to the folder, so you can find emails relating to the event easily - including when the pre-event call is and the directions you'll need on the day.

Whitelist my email address (i.e. add it to a safe list of emails) to ensure they don’t end up in spam. The method for doing this will vary according to your email provider, but if you Google ‘how to whitelist an address with [INSERT NAME OF EMAIL PROVIDER]’ you can easily find instructions.

2.Introduce yourself in the Your Year in PR Facebook Group and connect with other delegates

Attending live events is not just about the speakers; you also get to connect with like-minded business owners you might end up working with in the future.  But walking into a conference can be hard – particularly when you don’t know many people.

Even if you haven’t met in person, it’s much easier to walk into an event when you ‘know’ people from social media.  There's a private Facebook Group for Your Year in PR delegates. This is the place to get to know people, pose questions (both to myself and other delegates) and have conversations.  Do go ahead and introduce yourself to everyone.

The Your Year in PR delegates 2017

4.Join Twitter (if you haven’t already)

Twitter is the social media network where most journalists hang out - and when you're planning your content and PR for the year ahead, you'll find that Twitter is a great place to share your content. So if you’re not already active on Twitter, you should think about setting up an account and starting to use it.  (It's not essential, just something I recommend). 

If you’re a complete newbie, this article on how to get started with Twitter is a useful guide.

Your Year in PR has a dedicated Twitter hashtag you can use before, during and after the event (#YYIPR17) which can be a great way to find and stay in touch with other delegates.

If you want to get more experience of using Twitter, do join my #soulfulprhour Twitter chat on Sunday evenings 8-9pm (BST). If you're a complete newbie, read my guide on how to take part in a Twitter chat.

You might also want to follow our Your Year in PR Twitter list.

5. Research the venue and book travel in advance

The last thing you want is to arrive at the event late, sweaty and flustered, having spent half an hour running around looking for the venue. So book your travel well in advance if you can, get the exact address of the venue and plan your route from the station/airport/car park. Booking travel well in advance can also help you save money on attending the conference.

Plan to arrive early if you can (the doors open at 9:15am), but unless it is unavoidable, we would ask you not to arrive before that time. The hour or so leading up to the start of an event can be a busy (and sometimes stressful) time. Allowing us to get on with our preparations uninterrupted will help you have a much better conference experience (and give you time to gather your thoughts before you arrive). There are plenty of cafes around, including Shoreditch Grind,  Look Mum No Hands and Central Street Cafe, where you can grab a coffee.

6. Study the conference schedule

Spend some time familiarising yourself with the conference schedule, including the time the doors open and timings for breaks and lunch. This will help you plan for networking opportunities. Many conferences have networking over coffee and/or breakfast before the event start, which can be a great time to connect with others delegates and introduce yourself to speakers.  We'll post the Your Year in PR schedule here as soon as it's confirmed.

7. Do some background reading

If there are topics being covered in the conference that are unfamiliar to you, it can be a good idea to do some background reading.  My book, Your Press Release is Breaking My Heart, is a great starting point for Your Year in PR delegates (but is absolutely not compulsory) and will be particularly helpful if you're fairly new to PR.

 

If you're new to PR my book is a great starting point but is absolutely not compulsory

8. Organise your marketing materials

Make sure you have plenty of up-to-date business cards to share with people you meet at the event and any other materials you might want to share. For example, even if I’m not speaking at an event, I usually take along some copies of my book and media diary which often results in online sales.

9. Consider blogging about your experience

Attending a live event can be overwhelming. There is so much information coming at you, it can be easy to miss things. Reflecting on your experience and setting goals can be a great way to document your experienceYou may also be able to turn it into useful content for your own audience.

I’d recommend writing a ‘before’ and ‘after’ blog post. Stating publicly on your blog that you are attending an event also gives you accountability (telling your audience you’re learning how to plan your PR strategy means you have to follow through, right?).

Here's some content the delegates from my Soulful PR Live event created:-

Why I’ve decided to attend a PR conference by Adanna Bankole

How to overcome secret nerves about attending networking events by Clare Josa

How to prepare for an important conference by Cathy Wassell

Into the lion’s den: five mindset strategies that will have you waking into a conferences feeling like you can take on the world by Rebecca Morley

Keeping your energy high at live events – five top tips by Raphaelle Cox

10. Do a technology check

Your Year in PR delegates are welcome to bring a laptop or tablet to the event, but a pen and paper will do just fine.

If you are bringing some tech, make sure all your electronic devices are fully charged before the event. The venue does have wall sockets, but only a handful – some of which will be in use for the audio and visual equipment – so don’t rely on them being available.

Personally I always carry a portable charger for my phone and it’s definitely worth investing in one. I use the Juice Bar.

It’s also worth checking you have enough memory on your phone for taking photos and videos at the event.

Oh and don’t forget your favourite notebook and pen. We will have spare paper and pens, but collecting your thoughts in one place is usually much better than scribbling on scraps of paper that can easily be lost.  And of course, you'll be picking up your 2018 Media Diary at the event!

11. Plan your outfit (yes really!) 

Your Year in PR delegates are generally casual/smart casual, which is pretty typical of most conferences these days, so anything goes, but if you run your own business, you are your brand. It’s worth thinking about how you want that brand to be perceived and how that is reflected in your personal appearance on the day.

Do bear in mind that you will be sitting around for long periods of time and that the venue is air-conditioned so can get chilly (so having a jumper or cardi in your bag is a good idea). And if you go for killer heels, you might be glad of a change of shoes for the journey home.

12. Design your follow-up strategy (and block out time for it)

It’s easy to leave a conference full of brilliant ideas – that’s what events are all about. Sadly, it’s just as easy to get bogged down the minute you get back to your desk,  forget everything you’ve learned and not follow up on the opportunities you’ve created. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by blocking out a few hours (ideally as soon as you get back to your desk) to reflect on what you’ve learned and follow up on the connections you’ve made.

The great news for Your Year in PR delegates is that we’ve created Day 2 of the event as a content creation day, an opportunity to really get to grips with all the learning from day one, and start to formulate a plan to put into action everything they’ve learnt.

Like the idea of starting 2018 with a fully-fleshed out PR plan for your business?  Why not join me and an inspirational group of like minded people at Your Year in PR in London on November 23 & 24.

Eight common concerns about attending Your Year In PR

Thinking about attending Your Year in PR but can’t make up your mind? I get it.

It’s perfectly natural to worry about whether you’re making the right decision to attend a conference or workshop.

It’s not just about the ticket price. On top of the cost of your ticket, you may also need to budget for travel, accommodation, food - and time spent away from your business. So you need to be sure you’ll get a return on your investment.

With that in mind, here are some of the most common concerns small business owners raise about attending Your Year in PR - and the advice I offer.

If you’re not familiar with the event, Your Year in PR is a media planning masterclass. It’s your chance to dedicate a day planning out the content for your blog/vlog (if you have one), social media, email marketing and press activities for the whole of 2018. You’ll learn strategies you can use to generate ideas, re-purpose content and schedule well ahead of time - so you’ll never be stuck for ideas again. If you want to create content that attracts more likes, comments and shares, you can stay on for a second day of training that focuses on creating shareable content that will help you make more sales in your business

Concern 1: ‘I can’t afford it ’

Some prospective delegates tell me they love the idea of the event - and would attend if they could - but can’t afford it.

My advice

If this sounds like you, the first thing you need to do is change your mindset. Instead of saying ‘I can’t afford it’ ask yourself ‘‘what could I do to make it affordable?’

If you’re reading this post, you’re an entrepreneurial sort. So if you really want to attend an event, I believe you’ve got what it takes to figure out how to get yourself there. Here’s a list of ten things you can try to raise the money to attend a live event.

Try them and let me know how you get on.

Concern 2: ‘I can’t afford to take time away from my business’

Some prospective delegates tell me they love the idea of the event - and think it could be really beneficial - but can’t spare the time away from their business. This is particularly common in product-based business owners, who are often at their busiest in the run up to Christmas.

My advice

Are you really so busy that you can’t spare a day to invest in the long-term health of your business?  Could you put in a few extra hours on a weekend or in the evenings to make up the time - or outsource some tasks that would free you up to attend?

It’s great to be busy, but if you’re firefighting at the expense of promoting your business, in a few months time, you may find you’re short on clients.

When you run a seasonal business, it’s easy to tell yourself that quieter periods are the norm - but it doesn’t have to be the way. Taking time out for some strategic PR planning could help ensure you’re busy all year round - not just at Christmas.

Concern 3: ‘I’m afraid I won’t have time to implement what I learn’

A common concern I hear from owners of prospective delegates is that they won’t get time to implement everything they’ve learned.

My advice

Taking some time out of your normal routine is bound to leave you buzzing with ideas. But once you’re back at your desk, there’s a risk you’ll get bogged down in the day-to-day running of your business and not put into practice what you’ve learned.

Make sure this doesn’t happen to you by blocking out a few hours (ideally in the week or so after the event ) to reflect on what you’ve learned and make a plan to put it into action.

If you come along to Your Year in PR, you’ll also be invited to take part in a live follow-up call with me in January 2018, which will give you accountability and a chance to ask questions about what you’ve learned.  

Concern 4: ‘I sell products rather than offer a service.’

Some prospective delegates tell me they don’t think the event is right for them because they run a product-based business.

My advice

If you’re selling products online, you need to be publishing regular content - ideally on a blog/vlog, on social media and via email - so you can build relationships with prospective customers and attract them to your website (or wherever you’re selling your products). Creating a content schedule - so you know what you’re going to publish, when and where - will keep you consistent, accountable and ensure you never run out of ideas. It will also save you tons of time.

Concern 5: ‘It’s not the right time for me’

Something I hear a lot from prospective delegates is: ‘I love the idea of this event but I don’t think it’s the right time for me. I’m too busy working on my website/I’m building up my client base/I’m not ready to be the face of my business.’

My advice:

A bit of tough love: if you’re selling your products/services online you need to be publishing regular content - ideally on a blog/vlog, on social media and via email - so you can have conversations with prospective customers and attract them to your website. So if now’s not the right time to focus on your content strategy - and make sure this actually happens in 2018 - when will be?

If you’re too busy working in your business to take time out to work on your business I can pretty much guarantee that this time next year you’ll be in exactly the same position as you are right now - wondering where your next customer or client will be coming from. Do you really want to leave it a year to start making positive changes in your business?

Concern 6: ‘I’m worried the content/delegates aren’t a good fit for me’

Some prospective delegates say they love my content - and the Soulful PR community - but they’re not sure if the content/delegates will be a good fit for them.

My advice:

I’ve tried to give as much information as I can on the sales page - including a list of who I the event is right for (and who I think it isn’t). If you have any other questions...just ask!

It’s really not in my interest to have you at the event if it’s not a good fit for you. I want everyone who comes to have a great experience and I certainly don’t want you to leave negative feedback (!) so if it’s not a good fit for you, I’ll tell you straight. So please feel free to share you concerns and ask anything you like. Email me on [email protected] and I’ll get straight back to you.

Concern 7: ‘I’m worried it won’t work for me’

Some prospective delegates say they love the idea of the event, but are worried my media planning strategies won’t work for them.

My advice:

I can’t give you guarantees.  What I can tell you is that I’ve trained hundreds of people in this approach - and it works (even if you have a product-based business).  The key thing is that this is a partnership. I can share all my best ideas, tips and strategies but if you’re not willing to put in the work to make it happen, you won’t get the results you desire. But if you’re willing to do the work and make media planning and content creation a priority, you will get results.

Concern 8: ‘I won’t know anyone else attending’

If you haven’t been to a Soulful PR event before, you may feel worried about not knowing anyone.

My advice

Walking into a conference hall can be intimidating - even when you do know people. That’s why I hold a briefing call ahead of the event where you can ask any questions you have. I have also created a Twitter list and a Facebook group where you can meet other delegates ahead of the event. I’m in the process of putting together a blog post on how to prepare for the event - so when you arrive at the event you’ll already feel part of the family. You can also check out this video to get a feel for what it’s like to attend a Soulful PR event.

I'd love you to join me at Your Year in PR, so if you're ready to get your 2018 PR plan in place, then click here to book your place

 

Reasons to attend Your Year In PR

Taking time out from your business to attend a conference or workshop is good for you. You develop new ideas, learning and relationships that can have a big impact on the bottom line of your business.

But deciding which conferences and workshops to attend can be a challenge. Not only is there the price of your ticket to consider, you may also need to think about travel, accommodation, food – and time spent away from your business.

With that in mind, here’s nine reasons to attend Your Year In PR.

1.You’ll learn how to put together an annual PR plan (saving you time and money)

Ever found yourself struggling for ideas to post on your blog/vlog (if you have one), email newsletter or social media platforms? You’ll learn how to use key dates/awareness days - alongside your own launches and busy periods - to plan your content up to a year in advance. You’ll also learn how to re-purpose some of these ideas to ‘pitch’ to journalists on newspapers, magazines and radio & TV (including how far ahead you need to approach them).

If you opt to stay on for the VIP mastermind session, you’ll get personalised feedback on your PR plan from me - along with an accountability coaching session in January - which will keep you on track in 2018.

2.You’ll get inspiration for content (you’ll never run out of ideas again)

You’ll learn new approaches to content creation e.g. themed months, seasons and series that will help you generate ideas you can adapt for different purposes e..g blog/vlog, email marketing, social media. You’ll be full of ideas when you leave (and they’ll just keep coming).

3.You’ll find out how to create multiple pieces of content from one idea

You’ll learn about content stacking i.e. taking one idea and turning it to multiple pieces of content e.g. blog post, social media update, video, presentation, infographic. Making each piece of content go further will save you tons of time and energy in the long run.

4.You’ll learn how to plan content ahead of a launch of a product or service

You’ll learn how to plan content ahead of the launch of a new product or service. You’ll get checklists of the key pieces of content you should create for each launch e.g. blogs/vlogs, marketing emails, social media updates, images and infographics - along with guidance on how long each launch period should be.

5.You’ll learn how to create a content promotion strategy

You’ll learn the exact steps you should take every time you publish a new piece of content to get the maximum return on investment. You’ll also learn how to use social media scheduling and management tools like Meet Edgar, Smarter Queue and Hootsuite to save time on content promotion.

You'll get to learn with like-minded business owners at Your Your In PR

6.You’ll learn how to generate content ideas from topical news stories

Planning ahead is great, but it’s good to plan for spontaneity too. You’ll learn how to ‘piggyback’ on topical news stories to create timely content for your blog/vlog, email newsletter, social media updates and to pitch into the press (including how to execute your ideas quickly, which is crucial).

7.You’ll be learning with like-minded souls

Not only will you come away from the event full of ideas and ready to create your PR plan for 2018, you’ll also make new friends and meet people you may want to collaborate with in the future.

8.You’ll get help implementing what you’ve learned

If you’re excited about putting together your PR plan, but worried you may not be able to create enough high-quality content, on a regular basis, you can join me for a second day of training on November 24.

Working with a small group of Your Year in PR delegates, you’ll get the opportunity to go deeper on content creation, including:

  • The four kinds of blogs/vlogs  post you should be creating regularly (and how to do it quickly)
  • Writing effective sales copy: for sales pages, email marketing, Facebook ads and more
  • How to write engaging ‘shorts’ i.e. social media updates, headlines and email subject headers
  • How write articles for the press (and why you need to)

N.B. Day 2 is optional and only open to a small group of delegates

You can book your tickets here.