When you are writing a PR plan, it is essential to be specific before getting too broad. You need to establish vital matters to ensure you are handling the reality as well as priority. Budget comes first, and usually the businesses don’t have a high one for you to set out an incredible plan. It is vital for you to know how much money will be available to you. All tactics doesn’t have to be expensive and so spend a good time to create a great plan. However knowing the limit is indispensable in the beginning itself. A compelling PR plan can help a lot to spread the message of a business, reach additional customers and generate more sales.
Steps for Developing an Ultimate Strategic PR Plan:
1. Preparing an overview:
The PR plan is usually developed to overcome an issue or gap that has adverse impacts on the business. This issue or gap is considered to be marketing plan loophole that is making the business to lose customers to their competitors, fall short to capture sufficient market share, restricting a wide audience and limiting to one particular set of audience. A PR plan can be aimed at expanding the market share.
2. Executive Summary:
Executive summary is the overview of a PR plan. It is an outline of pr objectives, describes the challenges that a business is facing which is expected to be conquered through the PR plan. Time frame of the plan is the vital component of executive summary. It is the period in which you expect the plan to reap the benefits.
3. Research Summary:
PR plans must be based on solid, extensive and in-depth research. Such research can include interviews with the employees, current customers, former customers, target groups and community leaders. Phone interviews will suffice to stick to the budget. Assess online conversations through social networking sites. Conduct a simple survey and analyze the methods of the competitors.
4. Blogs and social media:
These have developed in popularity in the form of communication means as this grant a mode to communicate with a stimulated audience. For media planning PR tactics, remember to research websites that relate to the business’ respective industry and learn the style and characteristics of the audience.
5. Setting the goals:
Next are the objectives and goals that you wish to attain through the plan. Outline transparently what you anticipate the plan to do. Ensure it is unambiguous, in order to make it easy to assess the actual execution of the plan in comparison to your initial hopes.
6. Situation assessment:
It is basically the description and appraisal of the current situation. It provides with additional clarity on goals and challenges while executing the plan. It is about changing the mindset according to the current situation so that one acquires wider range of customers. Passing through this process your goals turns clear and so does the target audience.
7. Realistic goals:
Goal is a single result that addresses the issues you have outlined. However it needs to be further classified into three to four additional objectives that deal with the points of change. Remember these classified objectives have to be attainable and assessable ones that have sheer time period allocated for accomplishment.
Strategic planning part consists of description as to how exactly you will strive to achieve your objectives. It will contain the methods you are planning to use, the medium that you will be using and suggest what kind of opportunities you hope to meet and benefit from.
9. Plan of attack:
Strategizing is the plan of attack. It should be created from the perspective of the customers so that you cover the appropriate aspects. This part takes into account multiple factors to boost the impact of the PR plan by estimating the proper time for product launch and marketing programs.
10. Difference between strategy and tactics:
Strategy and tactics are two different parts of PR plan. For instance, a strategy could be to promote the new additional building to the company. The tactics will be staging a ribbon cutting ceremony, inviting the local media, sponsoring snacks for potential customers, inviting government officials etc.
11. News release calendar:
Create a news release calendar to plan up to the news releases you aim to issue during that year. Perhaps you will revise the calendar as the year passes by however it will give some primary structure to follow and to facilitate to concentrate on creating news.
12. Media outreach:
A foundation of PR program is a firm media list. Pitching reporters and setting articles is core of PR. Thus before any PR activities, it is essential to plan out research and forming a database of important and significant reporters.
13. Media list:
The media list should comprise of contact details of the reporters and publications that are relevant to the business’ industry and organize each one as per the value each offers in terms of reaching the target audience.
14. Publication’s editorial calendar:
This grants a brilliant vehicle to plan media exposure. Researching these will help you to locate opportunities to present yourself as a PR professional source, suggest feature on the business or contribute an article. Majority of editorial outlets have their deadlines some months before their publication date. So be vigilant to closing dates.
15. Plan for ‘bylined’ articles:
Contributed or bylined articles can be a tremendous way to create exposure and build a foundation for you as an expert of the industry. Plan a research on magazines and newspapers or even blogs to locate those channels that welcome such articles then plan to contact the editor. The article must contain your key message. Make sure the focus of the specific media channel is relevant to your business.
16. Opportunities to speak:
These are another boulevard that offers exposure. So while planning PR programs, research conferences and trade shows for openings to nominate yourself as an important speaker or member of a discussion panel. Such engagement brings tremendous value to a growing business.
17. Target audience:
Determining the target audience clearly is essential to make it easier to align PR programs with them efficiently. This is a part where you describe specifically who you are targeting to build the base for generating the ideal PR programs that will be able to have the maximum impact on the appropriate customers.
18. Know the ‘public’:
The target audience is not just your potential customers. PR plans must engage the ‘public’ of an organization which includes the stakeholders, suppliers, other vendors, community members, employees, current customers and civic leaders. Maintain a database with their entire contact details. Throughout the PR campaign, you might have to extend to the public numerous times like for initial invitations, reminding and for thanking in the end, plus for prospective outreach efforts.
19. Target messages:
This part will determine and describe what message you wish to convey to the target audience. It completely depends on the target audience you desire to influence through your message. Perhaps there is more than one aspect you wish to communicate to the audience and thus this is the segment to determine the ideal message.
20. Target channels:
To release your message effectively to your target audience, it is crucial to choose the right kind of channel to put forth your message. Various types of channels of communication are impactful on different kinds of audiences. In some cases, a combination of channels might prove constructive and for some others, one single mode may work for the best of advantages.
21. Preparing the budget:
The PR plan must keep the budget into perspective and maintain the realistic relationship between the costs and profits of the business. This part is where you outline the budget for the PR programs.
It is crucial to establish the methods to assess the progress of the PR plan, so that you get a clear picture of whether it has been successful or not and to improve future plans for its degree of success.
23. Methods for appraisal:
Depending on the kind of business and the type of product or services, different factors can be used for assessment. Certain metrics however, that you might consider to look are the numbers of reference in media, visits to website, traffic of people in a physical venue or location or inquiries for certain campaigns.
24. Crisis Planning:
This section is also an imperative part of the PR plan. It should contain all possible negative situations and the best comeback to them. Run a test to check it’s functioning and for any loopholes that it may entail.
25. Make digital and social media marketing strategy:
It is a must for you to have media relations in your PR plan. Look for innovative and fresh angles and opportunities that will be helpful in generating the apt PR content for several media channels.
Writing a great PR plan will not just help create fresh ideas and opportunities for the business to stand out, it will also provide satisfaction to the business in its everyday operations. PR plans may always change, but planning strategy in advance will allow you to follow your established goals and sustain your focus.