Welcome back to another Ask Me Anything, a weekly series where we talk to our friends, our viewers, and our community about all of their pressing needs, questions, wants, and desires.

Let’s take a look at the mailbag to see which questions are burning this week:

Can any of you PR practitioners please share any business planning tools you use as you look ahead to 2022?

The Manual Way to Do Communications Planning

When this question was asked in the Spin Sucks Community, a couple of people—who I did NOT pay—said that they took Agency Jumpstart and it was incredibly helpful.

Obviously, I also think Agency Jumpstart would be beneficial for your business OR communications planning. I also do one-on-one coaching for those who need someone to hold their feet to the fire and hold them accountable.

But let me walk you through what I do for my own business and communications planning.

At the start of October, I write down the next year’s objectives on big, white sticky paper—and I stick them to my office wall (watch the video above to see it in action!). Then I create columns for each of the media types in the PESO Model™. And, during meetings and conversations with my team and our clients, every time an idea comes up that we might want to consider for the following year, I write it on a sticky note. Then I put the sticky note in the appropriate column on my wall.

At the end of the quarter, when I take time to plan, I’ll transfer all of those sticky notes either to the plan or to a parking lot to consider in Q2 (or beyond).

Use the Traction System

The other thing I do is once I transfer everything from my wall to digital paper, I use the Traction system.

I re-read it every year because it helps me think through the planning process. The first time you do it, it’s pretty intense because you have to think about a 10 year vision and you have to think about your mission and your values and your brand personas and all sorts of long-term ideas.

That stuff typically doesn’t change, year-over-year. You’ll tweak it for sure and you may evolve the vision or change little things, but once you’ve done the first year, you’ll have a great system.

If you’re not into Agency Jumpstart or one-on-one coaching, buy yourself a copy of Traction. Read it. Use it liberally. Let it guide you.

I realize the post-it note planning process may not work for everyone, but it doesn’t matter if you’re planning for your career, for your department, or for your business, Traction will help you create a plan that’s easy to execute.

Have a Question?

And, if there is a topic you’d like us to cover, industry trends you’ve heard about but don’t understand, or a question you are embarrassed to ask but know we will be happy to answer let us know!

You can drop it in the comments below, DM us on social or in the Spin Sucks Community, or send an email.

You can also stop by my house with a bottle of wine, but we can’t sit out on the porch and drink. It’s too cold. You’ll have to wait until spring.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich