Spark's 'five point PR plan' for 2018 and beyond

Rob By Rob

Whether it's a personal goal or something you've given up for lent, there's nothing better to motivate yourself than a good old-fashioned resolution. We've taken up a few of our own here at a Spark, but it's not all chocolate bans and gym classes; We've put our PR hive-mind to work, and come up with some challenges of our own to tackle that will give us an edge in our day jobs:

Get out and there and meet journalists - Journalist relations are one of the most important aspects of PR, and sometimes the best opportunities come from having a quick drink, lunch or even a five-course tasting menu with your key contacts. Whether you hear about a new article they're working on, get some information from your clients across or simply have some common ground to chat about the next time you pick up the phone, it makes all the difference. That's why we have a dedicated budget for meeting journalists, we need to remember to make the most of it!

Share and share alike - Every day we tell our clients to share their coverage and make the most of social media, but it's time for us to practice what we preach. if you get an impressive result for your client, shout about it! By sharing our greatest hits over social media, you can give your clients even more exposure, promote your agency and even give the journalist a few extra views on their article - everybody wins. And of course, what's the point in getting your client in the business press if you can't bask in the glory afterwards...

Jargon begone - Enough is enough, no more "circling back" on how to "leverage" that key "touch point". "Going forward", it's time "take an action" to stop "reaching out" and just say what we mean. Keeping things clear and concise will save time, ensure everyone knows what's going on and we are all saved the effort of cringing at our screens.

When words are not enough - In an age where everyone carries around a screen or two (with the growing Apple Watch craze at Spark towers it's rapidly becoming three screens) traditional copy isn't always enough. Thinking more widely about how images, videos and graphics can help frame and enhance a story will keep readers engaged.

Sorry, we're not sorry - When you have a good story, there's no need to apologise. Using words like 'just' and 'sorry' in emails make it sound like you're on the back foot right from the start. Politeness is important, but by being more direct you can show your confidence in a story, which can make all the difference.

While these steps are small on their own, together they can make a big difference, freeing up time to improve journalist and client relations, get more from our great results and give us the chance to think more creatively.