Its funny, we typically talk about the calendar in January but in most companies it needs to be completed by October because that is when budgets for the next year are set. However every company is different.
Just like my personal calendar, I start by adding the important dates and events. And then fill in the rest as needed. This gives me the high level view of the year and allows me to spot conflicts before they become a problem. In calendaring, the key to success is being proactive.
Holidays, Birthdays and Achievement Days
I add in holiday’s and birthdays relevant to my industry, location and key messages. It is okay, and even encouraged to use a little creativity here.
If I worked for Microsoft or a company that wants to do business with Microsoft, I might want to remember November 20th, 1985. The day Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released.
If my company is putting effort into going green there are a lot of national days I could tag onto that would help bring visibility to the day and our efforts. If you want more ideas, Google these dates, I personally found the following dates interesting:
- March 21 – World Forestry Day
- April 22 – Earth Day
- April 27 – Arbor Day’
- The 3ed Friday in May – National Bike to Work Day
- December 11 – International Mountain Day
These dates are also relevant for companies in the outdoor industry. Their content is generally geared around these kind of activities, why not draw even more attention to them.
Next, I am going to add events that I am either planning to host or attend. Regardless if I host or simply attend the event, I need to leave room in my communications plan before, during and after the event. If I host the event I am promoting, providing event updates and sending post event thank yous and regular wrap-up.
If we attend the event I still need to leave room in my communication plan for a similar outreach. There is still a lot of things that have to be done before I can go to an event, we will look at this next.