I still believe the New Year is a great time for making some resolutions. Yes, they have a bad name because most people, including me, don’t do too well at keeping them. Despite that, I offer three that will pay big dividends.  All three can be completed by the end of first quarter to give you lots of time to maximize results throughout the year.

1. Plan and launch a Brand Journalism Program (BJP). A BJP is a way to tell your brand story utilizing the tools long used by journalists. Your BJP reporting team is responsible for telling your story in a way that is authentic and interesting to your key audiences. That story must be credible, and educate and engage audiences by addressing topics that are important to them.  Why do this now?  First, the traditional reporters and news outlets that covered your company or industry are no longer around. That means you need to generate your own content. Second, viewing your company and industry with an outside perspective helps your team really understand how you are perceived by your key audiences.  Finally, a BJP will give you important content that can be used in reaching the additional two goals below.
2. Develop an integrated plan for using both social and traditional media to tell your story. The new platforms where you engage with key audiences, ranging from Facebook to LinkedIn to Twitter, offer opportunities to highlight your organization, people and approach. It means telling stories in different, interesting and creative ways on a regular basis. It also means generating more content than ever before and taking advantage of opportunities quickly in the 24-7 cycle.

3. Develop a crisis management plan–odds are high you will need it. Being ready has never been more important. When a threat to your brand, reputation or product first surfaces, the clock is ticking and you must respond quickly. That means your team must be prepared and know exactly what to do using every channel. In addition, all of your employees should be on board because they are a critical element of your effort to monitor brand challenges.

These three elements clearly fit together and will help you have a successful year, engage with your critical audiences and thrive in a social media world. VHPR has extensive experience helping clients tell their stories, make better use of social media, and plan crisis management programs. We would be happy to talk with you about how we can help your organization keep some important resolutions in 2013.