Love is in the air, and whether you’re planning a relaxed movie night with your friends or going on an extravagant dinner date, Valentine’s Day is a process. Like public relations, a little planning up front will ensure a smooth and enjoyable holiday.
Define the situation
The first step in the process is a situational analysis. Consider your objectives for Valentine’s Day and your target publics. Are you hoping to spend time with a group of friends, family members or a special someone? Do you imagine a casual evening or something on the fancier side? What have you done for Valentine’s Day in years past? What are your peers doing for Valentine’s Day?
Dig around and research any events going on nearby or special menus at your favorite restaurants. Think outside the box and consider concerts, day trips and outdoor activities if the weather will be nice.
If you want to surprise your date, talk to their friends or look on their Pinterest accounts to see if there’s something special you can do or give them that would make the evening one to remember.
Next, map out your plans. Make reservations if you’re going to dinner; restaurants tend to be extremely busy around Valentine’s Day, so also be open to celebrating a few days before or after the holiday. Calculate travel time and possible expenses like gas, a card, flowers and a new outfit.
Consider your strategy for the evening, are you hoping to reconnect with friends? Are you looking forward a special night to celebrate a relationship? Are you working to start a new relationship? The answers to these questions will help you form a goal for the evening.
It’s also important to think about the other person’s expectations and goals for the evening. Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to put others before yourself, so think about what would make their night extraordinary. If you’re in a relationship, think about special memories and things you have experienced together in the past, and tie those into your date in a thoughtful way.
Valentine’s doesn’t have to mean spending your entire paycheck either. Thoughtfulness and genuine care for the other person means so much more than the amount you spend.
It’s time! Implement your plans by keeping your goals in mind, but understanding that there may be a few adjustments needed. Don’t forget to iron your clothes and tidy up your house if you plan on spending time there.
Be flexible and enjoy your time with the people around you. Remember that Valentine’s Day is so much more than just a night for couples, chocolate and flowers; it’s a time to stop and appreciate the different forms of love around you. Take time to reach out to your family members, your neighbors and your friends to let them know how much you appreciate their care.
In PR, evaluation is needed during and after a campaign. Valentine’s Day is no different! Throughout the night evaluate your choices of venue, activities and people you’re spending time with. After the holiday, consider what went well and what you would’ve changed. These results will help you in planning ahead for next year, when you can start the process all over again. Remember to continue spreading the love year round!