10 steps to creating an effective PR strategy
P ublic Relations has a duty to deliver strategic communications in a number of creative ways. By designing a well thought-out PR strategy you can help strengthen your credibility in the market and attract new and repeat customers.
A strategy can also have a significant role in building trust around your brand. By maintaining a positive public image you’ll be better placed to achieve your business objectives. To help you create an effective PR strategy we’ve identified the following 10 key steps to help you create a successful PR plan.
Always set a realistic budget
Determine your public relations goals
Outline what it is that you want to achieve. These goals can be as few or as many as you need, but we suggest that 5 is usually a realistic number. Whatever you decide as your goal they should be consistent with your overall business plan or wider marketing strategy. An example of a goal could be to increase the brand awareness of your business within a specific market.
Define your target audience.
Determine which groups you want to communicate with via which sector, market etc. Do you require industry support or backing to promote your business? Who might be affected by any issues related to your business? Who would benefit from your product or service? It’s important to outline your audience for your strategy to be effective.
Outline your objectives.
What is it that you desire from this activity? What is achievable?
Consider SMART objectives. These are:
- Specific – what do you want to achieve?
- Measurable – how will you measure it?
- Achievable – how will you achieve it within your budget?
- Realistic – Is what you want to achieve realistic with your resources?
- Timed – What timeframe will you use?
Each objective should cite an audience, outcome, attainment level and within a certain time frame.
What tools and tactics will you use?
Consider how you will use your resources to carry out your strategy and work towards meeting your objectives. You will likely have several tactics per objective. Your tactics can include a PR launch, PR stunt and social media platforms.
Highlight key messages.
To keep your content relevant and consistent try to ensure that written content is aligned with your business’ key messages and values. This will help contribute to your overall brand awareness.
"Take the time to research the best contacts to send your editorial and press releases to."
Evaluation and measurement are key
Inform yourself by measuring whether you are reaching your objectives. You can do this by evaluating your activity monthly. Consider feedback from your audience or can this be identified by an increase in revenue? Maybe you’ve noticed an increased positive brand awareness or industry acknowledgement?
Make golden contacts
Take the time to research the best contacts to send your editorial and press releases to. The average journalist or editor receives hundreds, if not thousands, of press releases each day. Make sure you personalise your emails to ensure that you stand out from others. Where possible try to build a relationship with journalists or editors - don't be afraid to follow up with a brief phone call to ensure they have received what you've sent.
Set a budget
Always set a realistic budge. Include expenses, staff time, transportation, images, materials, etc.
Crisis Management Plan
Consider what might happen in the event of a crisis, a good PR strategy should always plan for the worst. To define the most appropriate crisis procedures, it’s imperative that you consider all possible negative scenarios.
Timing is everything
Launching a new product? Trialling a new company innovation or a success story that is a positive reflection of your business? These are exciting topics for potential customers but if released at the wrong time an opportunity could be missed. By implementing a timeline, you can highlight when it’s the right time to issue your content.
With an abundance of information now readily accessible for the majority of people, creating informative pieces that help and guide should be part of your successful PR strategy.
By using public relations to tap into your audience’s deeper emotions and needs ignites desire. This is inevitably what encourages an audience to act often resulting in making a purchase decision.
A well thought-out PR strategy can ensure that your business achieves its goals.
Don’t worry if you’re not sure where to start with your PR strategy, take a look at the PR and Content information on our website, you might find that this inspires you to make your next move.
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