Year-end planning yields tremendous insights into industry changes

December 10, 2010

I get pumped each year at this time, when I sit down with the top minds at Gregory FCA to review the past 12 months and set goals and objectives for the upcoming year. This year, 14 of us met with an outside facilitator to assess our strengths and weaknesses, and identify the key objectives for 2011.

And while the planning is unique to Gregory FCA, many of the conclusions are a simple reflection of broader industry issues. So we thought we would share some of our findings, if only to reduce them to writing which binds us to action.

1. Keep moving into mobile. The space is hot as a sector and as a PR offering. We’re ramping up to develop more apps for clients and creating new ways to deliver their content to devices.

2. Formalize our commitment to training. The best way to learn public relations is from those who practice it. We see a huge opportunity to establish internal training protocols and certifications as a way to continue to attract high-level talent and sharpen it once in the door.

3. Feed off our big account successes. The recession came with opportunity in 2010, when a number of major brands sought our expertise as an alternative to large, high-cost, hollow New York firms. Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Hearst, and Unisys availed themselves to Gregory FCA’s value proposition in 2010, and are glad they made the switch in order to get more for less.

4. Celebrating excellence to motivate and inspire. In one major account win in 2010, we transformed what had been a lifeless campaign led by a major Chicago PR firm into vibrant media coverage. Some 230 articles and appearances in six months and an active social media campaign connected the client with thousands of customers. With it, came many small lessons learned that are now being shared throughout the firm as a way to educate, motivate, and inspire.

5. Attack and overcome instilled expectations. Are your expectations your greatest limitation? Too often, we set our own limits thinking that the media will never be interested in a story, even before we submit it. Or we look at the risks too closely and discount the benefits. In 2011, we’re dedicated to challenging ourselves and our industry. The old model of PR as an exposure machine, while valid, now incorporates a new range of services — everything from next-generation blogging, to SEO, to in-house news production, to digital newsrooms, to soup-to-nuts communications and investor relations products and initiatives.

We’re going to be there in 2011, and I plan to keep you all abreast of these changes and advances right here at Gregarious.

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