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    Plan the Work, Work the Plan

    As public relations professionals, we all know the importance of planning ahead. But, let’s be honest, how many of us actually have time to sit down and plan? We all know we should, but the madness of life somehow gets in the way. That’s where our recent chapter meeting, Jumpstart Your 2018 Content Calendar, came in handy. For 2 1/2 hours, we got to think and planduring a workshop. It was marvelous!

    Lindsey Germono, president of Germono Advertising Company, led about 60 attendees through exercises to identify their major goals, target audiences and competitive edge. Then, we got to planning, outlining our major campaigns, events and promotions first, what Lindseyrefers to as boulders. Next, we planned our ongoing communication tools such as newsletters, magazines, blogs and emails, which Lindsay callsour rocks. For both our boulders and rocks, we listed deadlines as well as other associated tasks. Finally, we brainstormed content that could fill in the blanks on our calendar, our pebbles or “the fun stuff” as Lindsay says. Pebbles canput a face on your organization through employee announcements, behind-the-scenes videos, showcasing new merchandise or highlighting milestones.

    During our time together, we got a good start on our year’s content and compiled helpful information that we can take back and plug into our master calendars. Speaking of master calendars, in case you’re struggling with which tool to use, here are a few online tools Lindsey recommended: Asana, Basecamp (free version), Trello, Google Docs or good old Microsoft products. She also is a fan of using big paper calendars, which she often uses to start her planning process for clients.

    We wrapped up the meeting with a great discussion on apps our group uses. They include Grum.co, Preview, Hootsuite, Snapseed, Boomerang, Canva, PlaceCam and WordSwag.

    Planning can certainly be a daunting task, but the first step is to just put some thought into it and then put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Look for slides and the workbook to be posted soon to our PRSA Hampton Roads Facebook discussion group. If you are a chapter member, please join the conversation at https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=prsa%20hampton%20roads%20discussion%20group

    Check out these additional resources to help you get startedon your content planning.

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