Public relations (PR) implies a series of practices that focus on spreading information about a company in an effort to influence the public favourably. Basically, this means to offer your target audience information about your company, products, and services. But over the past few years, public relations has changed dramatically. Also involving two-way communication with prospects, customers, and investors, PR now provides one of the most effective ways to build brand reputation and get more business.
Seven Steps to Effective Public Relations Planning
Since PR is a critical success factor in business, developing a functional strategy could help you achieve surprising results. For this, you need to follow the next seven steps.
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- Review your PR activity: When assessing your previous public relations activity, you should pay attention not only to the elements that have delivered positive results, but also to the overall amount of neutral, negative, and positive coverage along with the progress your company has made as a result of your campaigns. Once you’ve assessed your previous activity, it’s important to define new objectives as soon as possible and align them with what you’re trying to accomplish.
- Develop a comprehensive plan: Before developing a plan of action, you need to consider the interests of your prospects, customers, and investors. Then, establish a detailed timetable of the events you intend to organise throughout the year. Having an exact task list that specifies new product launches, service offerings, trade shows, conferences, etc. can help you make the most of your public relations strategy. Equally important is to determine how often you should generate press releases, email newsletters, social media content, and blog posts.
- Create a crisis management plan: Crisis planning is an essential part of any public relations strategy. To define the most appropriate crisis procedures, it’s imperative that you consider all possible negative scenarios.
- Set up a budget: Executing your PR plan is impossible without determining your budget. When creating the budget, be realistic and consider all events. Also, allocate extra funds for unforeseen occurrences. When unplanned things happen (e.g. a higher number of participants than expected), having money to cover additional costs could help cushion the effects of unexpected expenses.
- Select the most effective tools and tactics: There are several tools and tactics you may want to employ to ensure the success of your public relations campaigns. For instance, you could opt for industry-specific software solutions, which include editorial and product release calendars along with customer relationship management functionality. In addition, a few proven PR tactics consist of inviting media and government officials to your events, participating in community sponsorship programmes, and launching email campaigns.
- Craft key messages: When presenting your company, products, or services, your content should be relevant and consistent, but not identical. As an example, if you want to announce the launch of a new product line, you could create three different press releases: one for prospects, presenting product features and benefits; one for investors, indicating new investment opportunities; and one for the community, letting people know that you’re looking for more employees.
- Re-evaluate your plan: By reviewing your plan regularly, you can determine whether or not specific events have delivered the results expected, and make adjustments as necessary. Additionally, frequent re-evaluations can help you stay within your budget.
Strategic planning, smart budgeting, and creative thinking along with the ability to manage unforeseen circumstances are the most essential factors for an efficient PR plan, which will give you peace of mind in day-to-day activities, whilst offering new opportunities for your business to shine.
Further Reading: Our Series of Blogs Dealing with PR
- 10 Things A PR Person Needs To Know About Inbound Marketing
- Are Echo Chambers a Problem for PR and Inbound Marketing
- How to Transform PR by Using Inbound Methodologies
- Part 1: The Consumers Perspective and How AI will Impact PR
- Part 2: How AI Will Impact PR (Those That Work in PR)
- Is PR dead? Long Live PR
- How PR And Inbound Marketing Work Together To Make Your Business Better
- Seven Steps to Effective Public Relations Planning