We know how hard many companies have worked to implement a marketing and PR plan for this year, so we wanted to suggest a few best practices – not trends – but tried and true tactics to keep in the back of your head as you continue into 2014.

Integrated Marketing. While we maintain this has always been important, it’s not one of those things that has consistently been practiced in the past, so companies have often limped through a program with varying results. This is no longer the case. Quality lead generation comes from multiple avenues working together: direct mail, a well-placed article, targeted social media and outreach to analysts and top influencers. These culminate in multiple touch-points to your targeted customer base, which leads us to…

Content Marketing. What is it that you’re communicating in your marketing and public relations efforts? Are the messages consistent across every platform? Are you muddying the waters or creating a precise point? Companies that have the most success create precise content marketing calendars for the year spanning all marketing platforms.

Customer Marketing. Please remember your awesome customers. I’m sure they’re doing the same thing you are every day – being asked their opinion from their peers. Whether at work or at home, we’re constantly asked how we feel about certain experiences and we love to give feedback! Give your fans a platform to do so and these testimonials carry more weight.

The Changing Face of Media. Many people have loved to declare over the last few years, “The press release is dead.” We feel this is a little harsh. Realistically, reporters have always disliked bland press releases; so, going back to the topic of integrated marketing, it’s important to remember that press releases are just one tool in the public relations and marketing arsenal. They still serve a purpose but should not be the only thing that you use to reach your audience. Speaking of that audience…

Quality Over Quantity: Do not feel the need to have a 5,000-person media list. We find our smaller lists provide greater success. Again, this is not anything new for a PR practitioner. Do you know what your targeted influencer is writing, saying, tweeting, posting to Facebook, etc.? If you are able to reach the influencers for your industry, actually reach out to them over the phone, by email or another platform in which they engage regularly –suddenly, you’re way ahead of those who feel they need to flog a generic message to a large list.

And finally – everything goes back to Measurement and Results. It’s so easy to measure the results of your campaign. Even social media has made leaps and bounds in this category! In the fast-paced world of PR and marketing, things change quickly. Did that campaign rock, or did it miss the mark – and for what reasons? Let’s work together (sales, marketing, PR and executives) and we’ll figure out the best way to reach your audience to make your program that much stronger.