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The Strategy Room

Setting Intentions, Not Resolutions, For 2020 PR Campaigns

By: Judith Rontal

It’s hard to believe that 20 years ago we were stocking our pantries with bottles of water and filling rooms with candles in preparation for Y2K. We’re now in the new decade of 2020, and with each new year comes new resolutions set for the 365 days ahead.

It takes focus and dedication to see a resolution through to the rest of the year. For many, what starts as a motivating, inspirational activity tends to turn into disappointing, unfulfilled dreams. Soon our regular habits take over and all efforts towards New Year’s resolutions diminish before Valentine’s Day.

In public relations, setting a strategy for a new year’s outreach can demand similar passion and vigor. Crafting a succinct message and setting measurable goals has a huge impact in a campaign’s outcome. By applying the same techniques used in setting New Year’s resolutions to PR campaigns, we can set ourselves (and our clients) up for success in the coming year.

Defining Our Message: Intentions vs. Resolutions

A resolution is an “act of answering or determining,” according to Merriam-Webster. An intention, on the other hand, is “a determination to act in a certain way” and “what one intends to do or bring about.” When we make resolutions, we are answering issues of the past, but intensions create aspirations for the future.

In public relations, we always need to be looking ahead and thinking about what is to come, instead of what has already been said or done. Setting intentions that are forward-thinking opens new opportunities for our outreach and creative thinking.

Editorial Calendars Are The PR Vision Boards

Vision boards are a frequent practice for those setting New Year’s intentions. These boards identify themes to focus on throughout the year, or aspirations for the future. Filled with images and words to reinforce your intentions, these boards are daily reminders, and motivation, to think in terms of opportunities rather than obligations.

Creating editorial calendars is the PR equivalent of vision boards. This is a typical Q1 strategy where we scour through calendars from publications to identify themes for 2020 and opportunities to join key conversations. Be thoughtful when creating editorial calendars; just like when reaching out to reporters, do some research and read through prior editions to determine if it is truly the best fit.

Intention Setting for Personal Career Growth

Any PR team is only as strong as its members. New Year’s intentions can be set for your own professional growth, too. Perhaps you intend to seek out more leadership opportunities or want to strengthen your writing skills. Look to the new year as a way to build upon, and enhance, what you bring to the table.

These intentions can motivate you to make changes—whether it’s offering to contribute to your company’s newsletter or asking to lead certain projects—that will help reach the campaign’s public relations goals and strengthen your team.

Motivate Your Team in 2020

With the new year upon us, it’s a time of fresh starts and setting intentions. Take time to not only focus on yourself as we head into the new decade, but also your public relations strategy. Rather than setting resolutions that will most likely be tossed out with the Christmas tree, try setting intentions to motivate you and your team for incredible impact throughout the year.




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