The 10-point communications end-of-year checklist

ChecklistWith Christmas almost upon us you may be looking forward to a well-earned rest.

But before you step in to a seasonal booze-fuelled stupor, consider what you can do during this quiet time at work to give your life in communications a boost.

Whether you’re working in-house, agency-side or freelance, any of the tasks in my end-of-year communications checklist below could help make better use of your time, and make you better prepared for 2015.

Celebrate what your organisation achieved in 2014

Summarise and remind your employees what your organisation achieved over the last year. It’s a good way of recycling external news and helps to build pride internally within your organisation.

Professional communications learning and development

This is a great time to consider your development requirements, or to undertake some online study. Check out the Chartered Institute of Public Relation’s free Christmas offerings:  http://www.cipr.co.uk/content/careers-cpd/12-days-cpd

Make your predictions for the future

This is always a popular activity. Make sense of what happened in 2014, examine where your industry is at now, and predict what may happen in 2015. While next year may not be very different to last year, to get media traction you may need to get creative.

Use Christmas work events to build your team

Just about everyone has a Christmas work event. Managed well, these are potentially great opportunities to break down barriers between employees and teams, and to help develop good working relationships.

Get your ‘thought leadership’ in front of journalists

Christmas and the New Year may be a dead time news-wise but could provide just the right opportunity to get thought leadership pieces out to the media, helping position your organisation as a leader within your industry.

Get on top of your paperwork

You’ll reap the benefits if you can spend some time on getting your admin under control. After all, there’s no point in trying to conduct great communications activities if you don’t have effective processes in place to support you.

Pitch your Christmas-themed stories

It’s not a new approach but it works. There is always a Christmas or New Year angle that you can use to promote your organisation, though it may take some creative brainstorming, and some preparation in advance of Christmas, to produce something of quality that will stick.

Seasonal greetings for your professional network

Remember those within your profession by sending them a card. Digital is so overused now as a communications channel that a traditional card my actually stand out. But be genuine, as there’s nothing worse than insincerity.

Tidy up after yourself

Delete what you don’t need and carefully store what you need to keep. This may be more important than you might think, as a good audit trail may help to protect your professional reputation during an organisational crisis.

Put your feet up

Even the most ambitious communicators need to find time to relax. This contributes towards having a balanced life which in turn makes you more resilient over the longer-term. With any luck, you’ll also be more happy.

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