Running a successful PR campaign can be game-changing for a business. Regardless of the size of your company, public relations can bring you closer to some of the biggest competitors in your industry. The key to success in PR is for your messaging to be creative and newsworthy.
Strategic planning is an important step sometimes overlooked in the rush of everyday business and getting things done, but taking the time to build one will save time and money long term. Building off of classic business and strategic planning concepts, this list will outline steps that you’re probably familiar with, and should be treated akin to a checklist: a simple reminder of the necessities.
1. Define your audience: If your goal is to increase brand awareness around your new product line of diapers, you probably aren’t going to be marketing them to single men in their early twenties. Reaching your goals requires reaching the correct audience. So, when mapping out your media plan and public relations strategy, think about who you want to target. Your PR team will likely have to adjust its tactics based on the audience the team decides to target.
2. Create Measurable Goals: Goals are just a way of breaking your objective into measurable chunks, needing to be specific, whereas your goal is broad. Goals should be highly specific and time-bound, while being aligned tightly with the desired results created by your objective. Giving your team a specific goal garners results, while giving them an objective generates questions.
3. Identify the right platform: Your target audience will determine the type of media platform that is most effective for your message. When choosing a platform, it’s less about your company and more about where your ideal customer spends the majority of their time. For example, Twitter is used for spreading information like breaking news, while Instagram and Pinterest are used for visual content. Once you have identified what your target audience’s main platform is, you can consistently feed them new information and updates about your business.
4. Create a distribution plan: Your target audiences have their communication preferences – email, social media platforms, push notifications and so on. They also have their preferred devices like smartwatch, phone, tablet, laptop or desktop. It would help if you communicate with your target audience where they consume information. If you don’t, no matter how relevant your message is, your audience won’t see it. Don’t forget to ensure your message reflects the preferred format, length, and tone of the selected digital platform. Technology can be an invaluable asset. It can help identify your audience’s preferences and track how well they respond to your messaging whether you are reaching out to individuals or communicating with a group.
5. Follow up: Have a follow-up plan for journalists. If you notice that your story has been bumped or not covered yet, be sure to explain how the content is still news-worthy, and how it will continue to be news-worthy in the days and even weeks to come. It is common for journalists to have their inboxes full of pitches, so be sure that yours stands out. Plan to send a follow-up email 3-4 days after the initial communication. Include a link to a customer review, or a link to data or research showing its continued value. Or if it was an event, include some photos. No campaign is ever one-and-done, so create a follow-up plan for added coverage.