January 15, 2021
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Top Story
Actionable steps to address current trends
(Pixabay)
Stephen Dupont, APR outlines seven key trends for the new year and offers actionable steps for addressing each, such as mobilizing employees to support food banks amid heightened "food insecurity" and craft messaging to address current mental health stresses. Dupont also suggests, "PR pros must work to build trust by helping organizational leaders communicate their visions of preferred futures as they wrestle with present-day challenges."
Full Story: Strategies & Tactics (1/1) 
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PR In the News
PR professionals are wise to conduct an internal communications audit before doing any planning for the new year, writes Michael DesRochers, PoliteMail co-founder and managing partner. DesRochers outlines an easy three-step plan for conducting an audit and highlight key elements to be included in the final report.
Full Story: PRSAY (1/13) 
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The toll of being a social media manager
(Pixabay)
Social media managers talk about the challenges of their roles, particularly during the pandemic and social unrest, and how long hours, low pay, exposure to hateful content and a lack of support from employers/clients and platforms are affecting their mental health. "It takes a huge mental toll to consume this content, day in and day out," says social media strategist Amy Brown.
Full Story: Digiday (tiered subscription model) (1/13) 
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Communication Strategies
This infographic from Hero's Journey Content highlights key challenges cited by content managers, with the top barriers being getting quality content, a lack of strategy and proving return on investment. Content creation is the most time-consuming task, topped by long-form and white papers, with social media and thought-leadership content cited as the least time-consuming.
Full Story: MarketingProfs (free registration) (1/13) 
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Many employees will be skeptical or fearful of COVID-19 vaccines, and while employers can require vaccinations, they'll succeed more with strong, empathetic and clear communication that aligns with employee well-being, public health communications and company policies, writes Inspire PR Group founder Hinda Mitchell. "Going in with a 'vaccinate or else' message is sure to fail, while a well-crafted set of messages will build a favorable climate for future vaccination requirements," she writes.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Leadership (1/13) 
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This infographic from LinkedIn displays how to implement five business-to-business customer engagement strategies recommended by LinkedIn's Tusar Barik and Edelman's Joe Kingsbury. The visual covers long-term brand positioning, understanding your customer's customers, aligning marketing and sales, centering efforts around the customer journey, and fostering trust through thought leadership.
Full Story: Social Media Today (1/14) 
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Advice & Best Practices
Tell a new story if you want new habits
(YouTube/Polina Marinova Pompliano)
James Clear has 1 million email subscribers, a successful book and a reputation for sound advice on habits, and he shares why his own habits -- what he reads, how he spends his time -- shape what he's able to deliver. "Ultimately, the process of changing your habits is really the process of re-writing your story and learning to believe something new about yourself," he says in this interview and video.
Full Story: Substack/The Profile (1/12) 
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Top athletes know that rest is essential to performing at their best, and leaders should insist that their teams take time off and be aware of how much is being demanded of them in their jobs. Leaders should also consider the differences between short- and long-term rest, such as breaks versus extended vacations.
Full Story: NOBL Academy (1/11) 
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PRSA News
As we cautiously ease into the new year, the importance of open and honest communications is top of mind. Public relations professionals in particular face daunting challenges as their publics focus more and more attention on not only the "words," but also the deeper meaning of those words. Please join us for "PRSA Storytellers Series: Leading With Ethics -- A View From the Top" for an in-depth look at the state of ethical communications today and standards you can implement.
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Editor's Note
SmartBrief will not publish Monday
In observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the US, SmartBrief will not publish Monday. Publication will resume Tuesday.
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Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.
Melinda Gates,
philanthropist, advocate for women and girls
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