7 smart things every PR pro can do during a snowstorm

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Metro New York is still digging out of the foot of snow that winter storm Janus dumped on it this week, and Texas is bracing for Kronos.

Even if your area isn’t recovering from or bracing for a storm, there’s still plenty of winter left, which means there’s a good chance that another major snowstorm could shut down a city.

It’s easy to get tired of eating the cookies you bought during an “emergency” pre-storm grocery run or watching reporters get blown off their feet during live shots of the snowstorm. Speaking from personal experience, I’ll venture to say that most PR professionals and communicators don’t thrive on down time.

If media outlets are in full-on weather mode, forget unsolicited phone and email pitches.

Below are seven ways for marketers and PR pros to stay productive until the weather clears. Most can be done from your cozy couch:

1. Use SlideShare to create a slide deck from a previous post that received a lot of hits and comments. Repurpose the post by grabbing a few key points from your written text. Add images and graphics to spice up your words. Post it on SlideShare and cross-promote it on your other social channels. (If you’ve never tried SlideShare, decks are created in PowerPoint, so it’s easy enough).

2. Take pictures to energize your blog, e-newsletters, and presentations. Original pictures are much better than stock photos.

3. Write your editorial calendar for the year. We are well into January; it’s time to get the framework together for 2014.

4. Check out Muckrack.com (on Twitter @muckrack) and Help a Reporter Out, or HARO. These are sites where journalists and bloggers scout out subject matter experts and trusted sources. There’s plenty of activity to pursue while your sluggish competitors watch the snow fall.

5. Subscribe to the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy. It’s a research center that provides in-depth studies and data on timely news issues. You’ll want to bookmark the Journalist’s Resource.

6. Identify five blogs and pursue opportunities to write guest posts.

7. Poke around Pinterest to see how others in your field are using it to (visually) appeal to customers and prospects.

Even if the world outside is buried in snow, that’s no excuse for you to have a brain freeze.

[RELATED: Ragan’s new distance-learning site houses the most comprehensive video training library for corporate communicators.]

If you opt for Plan B—watching the first few seasons of “Mad Men” on Netflix—we won’t judge you. We promise.

Stay safe.

Susan Young is author of the Kindle book “The Badass Book of Social Media and Business Communication.” She also blogs at Get In Front Communications, where a version of this story first appeared.  

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