As PR professionals it is your job to build and nurture relationships between your brand and every reporter, influencer and consumer who can help tell your story. But to do this well, it takes time.
Rather than sending a press release for every new project launch or a one-off pitch, your PR efforts should start with a strategic plan. Building a solid foundation for your public relation efforts can not only save you time and resources, but valuable budget dollars as well (which are often scarce in the PR department). More importantly, a PR plan can keep you from spinning your wheels on tactics that don’t work.
To get you started, here are six steps for developing a PR strategy:
- It’s important to not plan in a vacuum. Understanding the marketplace, what your competitors are doing, industry news and trends can all give you valuable insight into your brand’s relevance and the best strategies to pursue.
- Understand what’s happening with your business. Knowing how the business is performing, challenges your company faces, new project launches coming down the pipe, and other key business initiatives planned for the year will all impact where your PR efforts should be focused.
- Align with the organization’s business goals – Not just your individual goals or your department goals, but what are your overall business goals? Is it to drive sales, increase leads, improve market share – everything you do from a PR standpoint should relate back to these business goals. If they don’t – time to stop and re-evaluate.
- Identify your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Do you understand them and their pain points? What it is that your company/product offers that can help them solve their problems? Understanding your audience and what actions you want them to take can help focus your efforts.
- Detail what steps you will take to get there. Outline the specific tactics to meet your goals whether it’s link-building strategies, influencer outreach or media engagement.
- Establish how you will measure success. How will you track efforts, measure and report, and ultimately adjust your plan if needed? Before starting any outreach efforts, you’ll need to establish key performance indicators (KPIs). Is it a top-tier media placement in The New York Times, increased market share or increased leads? Whatever the goal, it’s important to understand what you and your leadership team deem as a win.
By developing a well-thought-out and measurable PR strategy, you can make sure you’re setting yourself and your team up for success.
If you’ve established a strategy, but need some insight into why it isn’t working, we have a blog that might help.