It’s surprisingly difficult to pick one word that can encompass an entire year. I’d like to choose brave, courageous or valiant because they’re a bit romantic and idealistic, but they’re just not “me.” Lionhearted, though? That’s a strong word I can get behind.

It’s a big word (Mrs. Chirona, my third-grade writing teacher, would be proud) that packs a punch. And I realize it means the same as the simpler synonyms above, but today’s changing, challenging times call for something bolder. Lionhearted it is.

Communications pros, let’s go forth into the new year with heightened levels of tenacity, nerve and determination. Your PR objectives should be lionhearted, too.

How to Be Lionhearted With Your 2018 PR Objectives:

Chatbots will take over the world

Talk about bold. Yes, this is an overstatement – today. But there’s no denying that chatbots will become increasingly prevalent. It’s important to embrace the technology (race with the machines, not against them) and leverage them as PR and marketing tools. However, while AI and other tech innovations will continue to get smarter, it’s up to us to evolve too and flex our creative muscles by doing what the bots can’t. So push aside the proverbial box, embrace empathy and focus on the human side of communications.

PR is no longer “just PR”

We’re approaching a golden age in PR. For decades, our industry – and that of marketing and advertising – has operated successfully as an independent force. No longer. Integration is critical to our collective futures. It’s time to break down the silos. You might say, “But I’m not a marketer.” I’m sure the marketing folks are saying the same about PR. Take this as an opportunity to “go back to school” and learn something new. You’ll probably be surprised by how much you already know. This is the future our field. Seize it!

Integration is critical to our collective futures. It's time to break down the silos.Click To Tweet

Collaboration, not competition

For most of us, the field of competition is getting bigger and fiercer, regardless of your industry. Traditionally, competition is a driver for innovation. But more recently, collaboration is getting the attention. Brands are looking for ways to partner with others inside and out of their sectors, resulting in more and better ideas and solutions to important business and societal challenges. Internally, within your organization or field of expertise, seek out opportunities to join forces with different people with different perspectives. It’s not about competing for the next big project or promotion, it’s about collaborating – playing to strengths and tapping into oft-unexpected sources of inspiration to make an impact. How’s that for a PR objective (and personal one, too)?

Now, get bold and be determined, you lionhearted professional. You might be surprised at what you can do.

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With a passion for current events and diving into technical content, MaryKate brings her background in marketing for small pharma. to aid Stern’s PR team on a range of clients, from financial services to biotechnology, delivering impactful results. Her degrees in English and Communications from Quinnipiac University have equipped her to add creative and strategic thinking to the team’s already high PR acumen. Outside of the office she enjoys reading a good conspiracy thriller, relaxing with friends and family, and most importantly, playing with her dog, Riley.