Tom Ciesielka is President of TC Public Relations (www.tcpr.net). Tom has more than 25 years of marketing and public relations experience, working with individual lawyers and midsize law firms. He is also a former board member of the Legal Marketing Association in Chicago and is on the Public Affairs Committee of the Chicago Bar Association, where he has spoken at CLE programs. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now that the new year has arrived, it’s time to set promotional goals for you and your firm so that you’ll stay on track throughout the year. Avoid regret later in the year when you realize that you haven’t done anything to promote yourself by starting out with at least one of the following goals below:
1 – Evaluate your website and update your bio. During the past year, you probably had more speaking engagements, new clients and wrote fresh articles and blog posts. Look at your website to see if your information reflects your latest accomplishments, and change it if it seems outdated. Even if you don’t have an appearance or article planned yet, update your bio while you still have time. That way, you won’t have to worry about it when a speaking or writing opportunity comes up. This is advice I’ve followed myself; I recently updated my bio because I realized that my focus had changed, and there were presentation topics I’d covered that were not included in my previous bio.
2 – Decide which social media is right for you. Social media websites and apps are constantly being introduced, so it’s understandable that you might feel overwhelmed by it all. If you feel like you need to change your social media promotional strategy, now is the time to do it, while the year is still fresh. You might find that you can get rid of something or add something new. For instance, if you’ve been advised to create a Twitter account but are having a hard time maintaining it because your LinkedIn discussions are getting more attention and responses than your tweets, delete your Twitter account. Be honest about what’s working for you, and how much time you have; you don’t have to be everywhere online if it isn’t effective.
3 – Create a calendar. I’ve talked about creating a publicity calendar before, and it really works. It keeps you consistent and helps enhance your reputation because you’re implementing your publicity plan throughout the year.
4 – Repurpose. You probably created new content last year. Instead of spending the time to create even more new content this month, look at what you’ve already done and “recycle” it as a blog post, video, or even as an infographic on a social media site. If you’d like to get ideas on how to repurpose an article you’ve written, for instance, see the post I did here about 10 ways to do that.
I’m still in the process of setting my goals for this year, but so far, I feel good that I at least created a promotional calendar, updated my bio, and arranged an article and speaking engagement for later this year. We’re all busy, but it’s still important to set goals, or else our publicity plan will fall by the wayside.