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PR that delivers: A guide to good PR planning

on in Corporate PR

Some companies launch their PR efforts with vague goals. Sometimes it is in response to a competitor suddenly gaining a lot of traction in the market or it may be a general notion that ‘we need to get our company’s name out there’.

What happens next will determine whether your PR campaign will actually deliver what it needs to or fail at the first hurdle.

For PR to be a success, you need a good PR plan. And a good PR plan comes out of asking yourself some tough questions.

Here is a list of some of the main questions we ask before we start to develop a PR plan for a client. The aim of this is to give you the information you need to start to create a strong plan that will support your overall business objectives.

PR Planning Guide

Ask yourself where you are now.

  • PR success/failures thus far – what was liked/disliked? How is your organisation perceived publicly?
  • Competition – what you like and dislike about them and their PR, how are they perceived publicly? What are they doing that could impact on your business?
  • Threats – changes in the political, technical and economic landscape

Ask yourself where you want to be.

  • Sales objectives this year
  • The vision in 3-5 years
  • Which objectives can PR support – the short or long term objectives, or both?

Ask yourself which audiences you want to influence.

  • Who has bought the message so far and who still needs to be convinced?
  • Are there any influencer organisations, bloggers and forums that can help you reach your audiences?
  • What market breakdown do you need to have to target these audiences successfully eg by organisation type, industry, job title? Or prospects vs existing business.

Then:

  • Define your messages to reach these audiences – what issues do they respond to/what makes them tick (focus on solutions to problems, tapping into emotions etc, rather than product messages). Some keyword research will help here as it can often refine your thoughts about what content this audience is already looking for. It is also worth discussing calendar events relevant to your industry as these may be useful to hook certain messages to.
  • Define priorities – it is likely you will not be able to do everything at once so define your top one, two or three PR priorities and stick to those as a starting point.
  • Define timelines and budgets – when you will target each audience, what resources do you have at your disposal?
  • Finally, define your measures – what will be deemed a success, how will you measure and report on this to determine the value of the campaign? These measures can be defined in many different ways, such as changed perceptions of the brand (which you can measure via surveys), the amount of the right type of coverage in the press, an increase in sales leads, an increase in engagement on social channels, increased web site traffic etc – whatever would be a good measure for the original objectives you set.

Photo by Erik Mclean from Pexels

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