Another year has come and gone, and you’re very likely in the middle of finalizing plans, budgets and all kinds of things for the next year.

Is this the year you’re going to keep going your media relations and social media the same way you’ve always done it?

Or are you going to add something new to the mix?

Maybe it’s time to figure out how to modernize or liven up what you’re doing to help your organization get noticed.

Here’s 10 ideas for what you can to your media relations and social media:

#1. Use Help A Reporter Out

Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a free journalist and blogger outreach platform that send you bloggers and media looking for sources on specific topics three times per day.

It can be a great way to get included in media opportunities that you wouldn’t be included in otherwise or to reach top tier media.

You Can sign up for a HARO account for free, and start using it right away!

#2. Play with Slideshare

Guaranteed your company creates a lot of presentations, so why not give that content a new life on SlideShare?

Most people don’t realize that LinkedIn own SlideShare so there’s some amazing integrations there, and the site itself gets a lot of traffic – it’s one of the top 120 sites in the world with the most traffic.

#3. Create a Crisis Communications Plan

While this may not seem like very much fun, you definitely want to make sure you’ve got your house in order when it comes to a crisis. Stories that used to take days to break via the media, now take minutes, which means response time is key.

Investing time now in a crisis communications plan will help immensely when something does happen, as you’ll have all of your stakeholders on board and everyone’s roles will be clear.

Educate your team on the most common reasons for a reputation crisis and teach them to deal with various scenarios. Hari Ravichandran talks about some common risks here, including cybersecurity which is a major threat for social media marketing.

#4. Make it Visual with YouTube

The days of boring corporate videos are gone, and adding video to the mix offers your PR team a way to make your company more engaging and reach new customers in the process. YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, so having a strong presence on this social media network helps you increase awareness and build credibility.

Even if video seem intimidating, it may be easier than you realize, so it’s worth exploring. If you are new to video and YouTube, you can get some ideas for getting started in this post and set up your Youtube channel by using this Youtube channel name generator.

#5. Add Audio to Your Toolbox

Audio is going to continue to grow as a marketing channel. Podcasts increasingly moving into the mainstream with the popularity of podcasts such as Serial and Startup, as well as the advances in how we listen to podcasts via our mobile devices and in our cars.

Audio offers an alternate way to share your organization’s stories via social media. If you are just getting started, take some time to listen to podcasts and then check out technical resources from podcasting companies such as Libsyn. 

#6. Engage in Newsjacking

If you’re a smaller company or have a limited PR budget, it can be a challenge to break into more mainstream media or to stand out on social media.

A great way to make your organization relevant is to tie yourself into breaking news or trends.

Newsjacking while powerful can be tricky, so before you jump on Twitter and try to get in on a story, have a well-thought-out plan and idea for how and what you respond to. Text Optimizer is a great tool to quickly create content for any trending topic:

Text Optimizer

#7. Turn Your Customers into the Hero

Today’s corporate communications is heavily focused on storytelling, but the most effect stories you’ll ever tell as an organization are those of your customers.

Sharing your client’s success stories helps to put prospects into their shoes and creates credibility for your organization in the process. If you already have customer stories, look for ways to share those stories more effectively via social media.

Turn a written case study into a Facebook campaign or consider ways to get your customers involved in live events or on social media. 

There are lots of business phone apps to streamline interactions with your customers!

#8. Do a Better Job of Using What You Already Have

PR, social media and content marketing in general means we’re always creating more and more new content.

Before you start creating more and more new content, look at all of the content  you’ve already published and how you can breath new life into it.

You’ll quickly find that a lot of  your content can be reused as it’s evergreen. If you need suggestions on how to get started check out this post. 

#9. Ditch the Press Release

If you’re still doing press releases, it may be time to look for alternatives. Press releases can be effective, however, they are a very rigid way of sharing information with your audience.

Look for ways to tell the story in a more dynamic and engaging way via blogging or social media, and don’t get stuck doing releases when there’s really no news. 

#10. Connect with Journalists on Social Media

Being successful with media relations involves having relationships in place where journalists know they can trust you and the information you provide.

Consider carving out time this year to focus on simply building relationships without the expectation of getting something in return.

By offering media sources when they are looking for them and actually learning about what they really need, you’re quickly setting yourself apart from the majority of people they engage with.