It’s that time of year again – reflection time. As we bid farewell to 2023 and welcome 2024, it’s time to look back on lessons learned and look forward to the new goals and initiatives that await us in life. Personal reflection is important, but professional reflection is key to driving business forward, and at Xenophon, we take this seriously.
Embracing New Challenges and AI Integration
Last year was a journey of embracing new challenges, understanding the critical role of AI in PR, and realizing the importance of deep client product knowledge. As we tackled the evolving media landscape and learned to manage and motivate our teams effectively, we also learned valuable lessons from the challenges we faced, such as the importance of empathy from teammates and adapting to the rapidly changing digital platform ecosystem, which included adapting to operational changes on platforms like X, formally known as Twitter.
What Xenophonians Learned
- Deep Understanding of Clients’ Products Is Critical
Our experience with new clients underscored the critical need for a thorough understanding of their products/offerings. For example, we took on a client that worked in historical preservation and we had to really take the time to educate ourselves on the specific event(s) in history they were focused on. This is crucial not only for effective communication but also for ensuring that the messaging aligns accurately and respectfully with the subject matter, particularly in specialized areas like historical preservation.
- The Year of AI
2023 was all about AI, with the release of ChatGPT at the end of 2022. This past year wasn’t just about adopting new technologies; it was about understanding and navigating the profound implications and ethical considerations that AI brings to the PR landscape. Looking ahead to 2024, we’re particularly excited about the launch of Précis AI, a generative AI software platform Xenophon built specifically for Public Relations use cases. There’s a collective eagerness to explore and embrace AI for communications and to transform Précis from an internal project into a market-leading, revenue-generating force.
- Team Collaboration and Sales Experience
Throughout the year, we were reminded of the crucial role that team collaboration plays in the success of long-term projects. Our journey in promoting Précis serves as a prime example, illustrating how combined efforts and shared expertise, particularly in sales, are essential for achieving our objectives.
- The Evolving Media Landscape
Over the years, we’ve witnessed a gradual transformation in the media industry, characterized by a narrowing window for pitching and placing news stories. A focus on ‘news entertainment’ driven by clicks and views, has made it increasingly difficult for brands to land earned media. Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate refined approaches to generate earned media for clients, and adjusted expectations for placements.
- Managing and Motivating Teams
A crucial learning experience was in hiring, structuring, and managing a software development team from the ground up. This involved setting realistic expectations and understanding the dynamics of team motivation.
- The Importance of Preplanning
This was not something new we learned, but rather we were reminded of the importance when starting out on a new campaign. Effective preplanning helps in aligning team goals and focusing on essential tasks by streamlining the process.
Looking Ahead: Employee Goals for 2024
- Social Media Savviness
In the coming year, one of our key objectives is to significantly bolster our mastery in social media marketing. We recognize the immense potential these platforms hold for creating meaningful connections and engaging with our audience in more dynamic and personal ways.
- Leveraging AI Tools
A significant focus will be on utilizing AI tools to enhance our work, freeing up time to creatively promote our clients’ unique initiatives. Though some of us are more traditional in our approach, there’s a keen interest in learning about AI and ChatGPT and how these technologies can be used effectively and efficiently for our clients’ benefit.
- Evolving Précis into a Market Leader
Anticipating the launch of Précis, we’re excited to see it thrive in the coming year. Turning Précis from an internal project into a dominating force in the market is a key goal. We envision it as a revenue-generating powerhouse.
- Event Planning
Venturing into event planning for a client last year was an exciting journey. Initially outside our area of expertise, it turned out to be a significant learning experience. With the various details that go into an impactful event, we’re excited to expand our knowledge in this realm.
- The World of Digital Marketing
In 2024, our goal is to significantly enhance our expertise in digital marketing. We plan to dive head-first into its various facets, utilizing the latest tools and trends to develop effective, data-driven campaigns. Our focus will be on practical strategies that effectively engage the modern, digitally aware audience.