In any business, having a PR plan can be crucial. PR is often confused with marketing and although they do share similarities, there are some obvious differences. PR focuses on the relationship between a company and its audiences.
Rather than focusing on selling a product through means such as advertisements, it revolves around the relationships consumers have with the business and how the business comes across to them. PR has become very important for businesses of all sectors. You could be selling the best product ever created, but if nobody knows about it then it becomes irrelevant. For this reason, having a solid PR plan in place could do your business a world of good.
The most important part of your plan is establishing an overall objective. This should be decided before you begin your research and start coming up with your strategy. The overall objective should be what you plan to achieve from the plan and should cover what you aim to get out of your PR efforts. Following this, it is useful to establish some measurable objectives. The clue is in the name here as these objectives should be able to be measured. An example of a measurable objective might be: ‘To increase LinkedIn followers by 30%’
Measurable objectives can be established later in the plan, as your research may help you decide on these. These objectives are important because it means that you have a specific target to aim for and by being able to measure them, it is an indication of whether you met your agreed objectives when the time comes to evaluate.
It's time for research
Now that you have set out your PR objectives, it would be useful to do some research into your business’s current PR efforts. One way of doing this is by undertaking a SWOT analysis. This will help you to understand the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your business with regards to PR. You might find that your company has an edge that others don’t and this could be an opportunity for you. On the other hand, you might find that your competitors pose a threat as they are receiving more media coverage than you. All of these things are important to note, as they can help you decide on how you want to promote your business going forward. In any sector, it is always important to keep track of who your competitors are and what they are doing in terms of their PR efforts:
Are they producing more content than you?
Do they have a better social media presence?
Do they offer a wider range of products?
All of these questions are important because if you don’t keep up with your competitors, you could fade into the background. Keep track of what other businesses are sharing, what they are talking about and the frequency of these factors, and then use them to your advantage. It goes without saying that you need to be aware of who the audiences of your PR plan are. It is likely that there will be several audiences such as employees, current customers and potential customers. It is important to make sure that your plan is covering all of your audiences so that it can work to its best potential.
Let’s talk tactics
Now that you have done some research, you can get on with the fun part. Planning a strategy involves what you plan to do to achieve your overall objective. The tactics that follow this involve the more specific actions you will take to achieve it. It will benefit you to create a tactical plan which lays out the exact actions you plan to take and your reason for doing so. The end result of a tactical plan will be different for every business. This will act as a timeline for the tactics you want to implement, the frequency of them, and when they are to be completed by. When you have laid out all your tactics, the next thing to do is decide how you will measure the outcomes. This might be by analysing the number of visits to you website or maybe an increase in sales. It is important to have measurement procedures in place so that you can really identify whether you have met the objectives of your PR plan. After this you may want to discuss a budget. Even if you believe your plan to be cost-free, it is useful to note this as it shows that your plan can be effective without spending a great deal of money.
Put the plan into motion
You now have your PR plan and can start working towards your objectives. Always bear in mind your overall objective when writing your plan and make sure you do plenty of research beforehand.
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