Happy new fiscal year, friends! While July 1 is often overshadowed by its near neighbor, July 4, the TVP Comms team embraces the beginning of a new fiscal year as a great opportunity to do some behind-the-scenes work to prepare for the next 12 months. Below are some ways to start the year strong.

  • Consider priorities. What needs your care and attention this year? Do you have resources that allow for new initiatives, like experimenting with promoted social media posts or a ramped up video effort? It’s important, as you consider these priorities, to spend some time thinking about how to roll them up into both your departmental mission and strategic plan but also connect them directly with the goals and plans of the overall institution. Making the case for continued or new investments will be easier if you’ve carefully though through priorities and tied them to institutional metrics.
  • Identify professional development opportunities now. Before the academic year kicks off and things get too hectic to think strategically, it’s worth identifying the skill sets you and your team want to build or burnish this year. Consider adding a conference you’ve never attended before to gain new educational experiences and networking opportunities—we at TVP Comms love the annual Education Writers Association meeting. And if your budget permits, consider going a bit outside our industry to gain fresh insight and inspiration—Teresa and I have found great value in attending the ATX Television Festival for the last two years. If your budget is a bit tight for professional development, consider whether spending some time in the lobby of a conference hotel might be beneficial.
  • Assess your current toolbox and identify underperformers and gaps. The beginning of the fiscal year is a great time to gather your team and talk about whether or not your media database, media monitoring, and social tools are doing what you need them to do. If not, maybe it’s time to consider a change, particularly if where you’re being let down is on data that can help you show value for your work. Lately, we’ve been loving Coverage Book, which not just compiles clips but also tracks estimated readership and social sharing in a report that can be shared online or in PDF format. It may also be time to consider other tools that can make your day-to-day work a bit easier, such as Slack for team communication and project management.

My last suggestion for you isn’t necessarily tied to the beginning of the new fiscal year, but the (relative) quiet we experience mid-summer. As Kristine noted in May, busy times are great for building relationships with media, and quiet times are, too. Particularly in the summer, when reporters may be looking for good stories to tell about the institutions they cover, you can set yourself and your team up as a great resource. And while the winter is a distant memory, this cold weather recommendation to step outside your comfort zone on campus is also great advice when the heat and humidity make it easy to stay indoors.

Let us know what else you’re doing to set yourself up for success in the coming 12 months, and happy new fiscal year from the TVP Comms team!