56 WWW.AGRM.ORG JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018 DAY-TO-DAY M any of us just made resolutions to change our behav- iors in response to a change in the calendar year. Me too, and there are actually three things I need to improve in my PR habits for 2018. Since I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one with these issues, maybe one or more of these items apply to my fellow PR practi- tioners in rescue missions too. 1Let’s use more visuals in media advisories and press releases. Many of us who have some years under our belts in PR were trained in the importance of getting the words right. To me, that’s still the most important task for an advisory or release. Yet there’s no ques- tion that more news desk editors respond to a worthwhile image these days than before, especially when the image supports the written content. This year, let’s give them images worth seeing to accompany (and even enhance) the words we so carefully craft. 2Let’s be more careful in reviewing releases, emails, and social media before we hit the “send” button. I have noticed an appalling number of mistakes in my gram- mar, spelling, and content as I’ve acquiesced to the notion that “more” and “faster” provide clearer communication than “measured” and “calmly.” Not so. I’ve also noticed that the added editorial convenience of the cut and paste function, if not applied carefully, can bring about an inordinate amount of orphaned words and phrases that leave even the most seasoned editors scratching their heads. A few months ago, I began to force myself to walk away from my desk for a few minutes before the final review of anything I circulate. It has saved me from certain embar- rassment more than once. 3Let’s do the simple things to stay fresh while we work. Most of us experience work as a perpetual set of deadlines. That’s a challenging atmosphere of operation, no matter who you are. It’s easy to think that our missions’ PR initiatives will simply fall apart if we take a five-minute respite to freshen our coffee or to take that hourly stand-up-and-walk-around break many cardiologists recommend. But if you avoid those simple, quick breaks in the course of a workday you could end up with a perpetual case of brain fog—you simply won’t have the clarity of mind to do your best work. Every new year—every new day, for that matter—is a fresh opportunity to do better, right? So let’s make the most of 2018! Ĩ PR TOOLKIT Steve Wamberg Steve is on staff at Open Door Mission in Omaha, Nebraska. He can be reached at sjwamberg@gmail.com. Public Relations Resolutions Ways to improve your PR practices in 2018