Create Weekly Media Tasks for Better DIY PR
Use These Weekly Tasks to Build Strong DIY PR, Media Relations + Brand Amplification Habits
Behind every effective DIY PR strategy is daily action. Our philosophy rests on the notion that you must take consistent, ongoing action to get the word out about your brand and into the media, whether it’s a great feature story or you – the founder – speaking directly to the right audience through a guest post or contributed article on another site. You may have read and started implementing our recommended 30 achievable daily tasks as part of your daily media outreach goals. But not all tasks beg for the same frequency.
That’s where regular weekly tasks come in. If you’re thinking, oh no, not more tasks (!), relax. In the long run, relying on designated weekly tasks will make your daily tasks so much easier. They’ll keep you organized so a daily task can be just that – a short thing you do (almost mindlessly) every day – and a major media moment can happen without weeks of frenzied updates to your media lists, social media profiles, web site and more.
Because every business is different, we hope you’ll use these recommended weekly tasks as inspiration for creating your own list or, if you love them just the way they are, feel free to follow them word for word. It’s also worth underscoring this: you don’t need to do every task on this list every week. The important thing is choosing to define a number of regular media tasks you need to do for your business and making time each week to address the top priorities so you stay on track overtime.
Whatever you do, take action today to get more media attention in the future.
Make carving out time for weekly tasks a habit
Many of us are not natural schedulers. We don’t like boundaries or repetition or being boxed in by what our calendars say. In an ideal world of perfect Type A efficiency, all of our weekly tasks and daily tasks would be time-blocked on our calendars – and then we’d go and do them at the right time. But that doesn’t work for many people and, even if it does, life is quick to get in the way and wonkify schedules with little notice. Delayed fights, sick kids, canceled meetings and last-minute opportunities. It’s what makes life interesting. If your life is like a game of Tetris, prioritize the goal of devoting time to weekly tasks first rather than scheduling yourself to an inch of your life.
For some of us, having weekly goals or things we need to get done and then doing them when they make the most sense throughout each day and the week is the only way to stick to the consistent, ongoing effort that DIY PR and media relations will take on your part as a business owner with a small team.
We recommend using a productivity tool (Todoist, Slack, Asana and Trello are all great) to list your weekly goals and tasks at the start of each week and then checking them off as you go. If you’re great at scheduling, go for it and block time for individual tasks. Either way, you need to create a system that truly works with you and will set you up for success.
Schedule time for professional development and education
Make a decision about how much time you can devote to this each week. It’s likely to be more on some weeks (say, if you attend a conference or professional training workshop) and less on others (when you’re traveling, on a family vacation or – sorry, it happens – sick as a dog).
For some people, especially those of us whose schedules change constantly, it’s easier to commit to one professional development goal for each week and create a Google Doc or Evernote notebook (or your favorite equivalent) to store upcoming opportunities. On lighter weeks, you might attend a webinar or finish a business book that’s on your list. On a heavier week, you might watch a handful of YouTube videos you’ve saved for future viewing.
Either way, the idea is to make it a regular habit to work professional development and education into your weekly routine.
Update your media targets list
The method we recommend at PressDope for keeping your media list up-to-date when you have a small team relies on the idea of taking consistent, ongoing action on a daily and weekly basis rather than carving out blocks of days to organize major media moments right before they happen.
We recommend setting up Google Alerts for free media monitoring (or using a paid tool if you have the resources) and adding links to content that is relevant to your audience to a master media targets list. But we don’t recommend updating the sheet daily. Instead, we encourage PressDope members to make updating information and finding media contacts’ details (social media handles, email addresses, etc.) a separate task. The logic is that finding this information can be time-consuming enough and distracting enough that just knowing you have to do it can deter you from pasting a new link into your list in the first place.
We have a number of resources available to members to help them grow a highly-targeted media targets list that will be valuable and useful to your business. You will find a how-to video, a media list template and a guide to list-building strategies in the DIY PR Resource Library.
Survey your social media
Consistency across social media is extremely important to maintaining your brand presence. But social media accounts can drift apart and begin to look disjointed if you don’t take a bird’s-eye-view look at them on a weekly basis. The goal isn’t for them to be identical, but to be telling the same story in a way that’s appropriate for each platform. Depending on how you structure the social media tasks for your business, you may have other team members working on your accounts or other tools – such as Edgar – working for your accounts. When media and influencers visit you online to decide whether you’d be a good fit for an upcoming story, feature or interview opportunity, they are almost guaranteed to look at your social media presence. Many people assume they’ll just be looking at the numbers of followers, likes and comments you have. But they’re also – especially if they’re focused on fashion or style – going to evaluate your branding, how you engage with your audience and what kind of content you share organically. Because of this, many small fashion brands and creative businesses benefit immensely from doing a weekly survey of their social media and asking questions like:
Are my header images consistent across platforms and formatted correctly?
How about my profile images, logo and profile descriptions? Are they consistent? Could you benefit from editing them to include timely information about upcoming events or things you’re trying to promote (an opt-in for your email list, your latest blog post, a pop-up shop you’ll be a part of)?
Have I responded or interacted with everyone who’s participated with my social media content this week in some way?
How has my audience increased or decreased this week? Where is the growth or decline occurring?
Where are the links to my social media accounts on my web site and are they correct?
Does my LinkedIn profile reflect my current professional status?
If I’ve automated messages, are they showing up correctly and with images in the right format?
Am I using branded hashtags? How are they performing? What do I find when I search those hashtags? Is someone else using the same hashtag?
Update your press page
If you’ve had any recent press, including guest posts you’ve written that have appeared on other sites, take time each week to add them to your web site’s press page or wherever you showcase your press mentions (for example, a blog). This is a great task for an intern if you are lucky enough to have one.
Review your media kit
For some businesses, this makes sense as a weekly task. For others, a monthly check-in will suffice. If you’re receiving weekly communications from members of the media, it’s a good idea to visit your media kit once a week to make sure you have the latest product images, founder headshots, one sheets, lookbooks and other helpful information stored there so you don’t have to go and look for it the next time someone asks.
If you’re creating great content that illustrates your brand’s mission such as an infographic, video or fact sheet, you’ll want to have it there when the press stops by to visit and learn more about you. Need help setting up your media kit? Check out our Media Kit 101 in The Essentials section of the DIY PR Resource Library.
Reach out to one new person from your media targets list or professional outreach list
You don’t need to be pitching the person or making a big ask. Maybe you’re just writing a member of the media to say, I loved this story, and I’ve shared it with my audience in our newsletter, keep up the great work. Or perhaps you’re following up with a person you met at last week’s conference or networking event to tell them you enjoyed meeting them. It doesn’t need to be a long email or a request. In fact, it probably shouldn’t be.
The goal is to continually flex your outreach muscle so that it’s in shape when you’re pushing your major media moments of the year and you’re always fostering new connections for your business and amplifying your brand.
Follow up with one person
This is an especially important weekly task if you happen to be resistant to regular follow-up. It’s a skill and a habit that needs to be built over time. But even though it’s hard, even though you will encounter plenty of people who will not return your email, it’s the follow-up that is the key to so many great things that will happen in the future.
Work on one piece of thought leadership content
If you’ve participated in PressDope or listened to the Spirit of 608 podcast, you already know how important we believe thought leadership to be. As a FEST founder especially, it’s all the more important for you to put your voice into a larger conversation, one that we hope someday can shift the status quo in the fashion industry, as well as in the lives of those who wear what it creates and those who make what it creates (so pretty much everyone on the planet).
Note that we worded the task carefully. It would be easy to say, spend an hour on writing a guest post that you will submit to another web site, or work with your team to develop a short video for Instagram that will exemplify your mission in a new way. But realistically, we can’t put a time stamp on this for you.
If you can spend an hour and complete a piece of new content, great. Do it. For many of us, creating original content requires a few different stages (coming up with the idea, creating the content, finalizing or editing the content, publishing the content, promoting the content, etc.).
We recommend setting aside time each week to focus on one of these stages for one piece of original content that, when put out into the world, will help solidify your brand’s message while positioning you brand? Head to Ask A MEDIA Pro and let her rip.
Have weekly tasks that are helping you kick ass in your DIY PR and media relations? Share them with other FEST founders in the FESTConnect Network.