The Ultimate Summer Checklist for PR Pros

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Summer is officially here! For many, this time of year means turning off the computer and taking some well-deserved time off.

With many leaders and communicators in vacation mode, it can mean a temporary slowdown – although it likely won’t last long. Use the summer months to get organized and conduct a PR tune-up to set yourself up for success.

Here are a few projects to tackle during the dog days of summer:

  • Schedule happy hours and face-to-face meetings. Even with vacation schedules, summer is a great time to re-connect and meet with others. Now is the time to schedule that happy hour with clients, identify and set up lunch with a new reporter or blogger, or grab coffee with a new business lead.
  • Plan ahead. Dedicate a morning or two this summer to map out a long-term plan with targeted goals, strategies and tactics. Your future self will thank you.
  • Clean up your contact list. Still holding onto those business cards from six months ago, but haven’t had time to enter them into Outlook or your CRM system? Review your contacts list to make sure information is up-to-date and eliminate duplicates.
  • Perform a content audit. Take advantage of this “slower” period by thoroughly reviewing editorial content calendars, media lists, social media platforms and materials. Look at what’s working well, what isn’t, and where there are opportunities for improvement and growth.
  • Write blog posts. Although most PR pros are accustomed to working under pressure, it’s never enjoyable to draft content at the last minute while juggling multiple project deadlines. Create a few evergreen blog posts that can be stored for future use and leveraged in a pinch.
  • Make social media a priority. When businesses get busy, it’s easy to let social media take a back seat. If you’ve been posting irregularly on social media, use the summer months to create an editorial content calendar that identifies what you’ll be posting on specific dates and channels.
  • Explore speaking opportunities. One of the best ways to position your organization or yourself as a thought leader in the industry is to pursue opportunities to speak in front of peers or clients. When people see your passion and expertise, they’ll be more likely to keep you top of mind for the next project.
  • Identify award submissions. Summertime is not the typical season for award submissions; however, it can be the perfect time to identify key individuals or campaigns and to start gathering the information now. Then, you’ll be ready when you need it.
  • Volunteer your services. Consider offering communications counsel pro bono to nonprofit organizations you’re passionate about. This is a great way to expand your presence in the local community while giving back.
  • Revisit your crisis plan. If your crisis plan has been laying around the office, make sure the content, messages and contacts are up-to-date and reflect potential threats that could impact the organization.
  • Learn something new. Summer is the perfect time to get up-to-speed on new trends and fine-tune skills. Take the opportunity to learn something new – whether it’s reading a new business or leadership book, renewing a membership to a professional organization, or participating in a webinar or conference.
  • Take a break. Although PR is a rewarding and meaningful career, it’s no secret that it can be stressful. A little self-care goes a long way. Inspire believes in this so much that the company offers associates an annual travel expense budget to encourage individuals to take time away from the office to recharge and relax.

Tell us: What projects will you be focusing on this summer?