5 steps towards creating a PR plan

“If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR!”

Bill Gates

If you’re about to embark on creating a PR plan, either by yourself or with a consultant, here are 5 basic steps to get you started.

1. Be clear about what you want to achieve.

Determine your business objectives (the why?) and be realistic about how PR will help achieve these. PR isn’t a short-term game.

2. Be honest with yourself about how much time you can invest.

PR is not just a monetary investment. It requires time. Even if you outsource it to a consultant, they’ll need your input into the strategy and content, as well as your time when it comes to the execution – for example, interviews. Be honest about how much time you have to give.

3. Understand who you want to communicate with, and what you want to say.

Clearly identify your target audience – general public is too broad. There’s the basics, like demographics (i.e gender, age, location), but also identify passions and pain-points.

And when thinking about your target audience, start to build a picture of how your product or service helps to meet their needs. This will inform your messaging.

4. Identify where your target audience gets their information.

Knowing where your target audience gets their information is key to choosing how you will communicate and engage with them.  There’s no point spending all your time (and money) trying to engage your customers on Instagram if they’re more effectively reached via Facebook or local newspapers. And yes, some people still read them!

The communication channel you choose also depends on what you want to achieve, what you want to say, and when you want to say it.

5. Determine how will you measure your PR efforts.

A bunch of articles that you share on Facebook or leave in reception does not mean you were successful. Setting SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely – objectives at the outset will help determine this.








Before starting a PR program, always ask why?

Someone told you that you need to ‘do PR’. They probably told you that you need to write a press release too. But there’s an important question they didn’t ask you.


Why should you be doing it? Is it to drive traffic to your website to increase sales, or is it to establish your company as an authority in order to break into a new market?

Understanding this is key to developing a PR plan and helps to define your objectives. And in turn provides the guardrails for all your PR activity and means you can measure whether you’ve been successful or not.

For example, you’re an online furniture store that has just launched and you need to generate website traffic in order to make sales. You know that women aged 25-45 are your core market and that they rely on respected authorities for advice and inspiration on what to buy.

A strategy could involve encouraging word of mouth recommendation of your website by introducing your brand to influential people in interior design.

Once this is in place you can develop a campaign. The campaign provides a theme that makes all the activity hang together.

For our online furniture store, we could create a campaign around the realities of interior design, tying into the plethora of reality TV shows about home renovation.

A campaign tactic we could use is blogger outreach and would involve contacting bloggers who write about interior design. You could challenge the bloggers to choose the pieces from your store that they would use if they were taking part in Channel 9’s The Block, and encourage them to write a series of blogs including how-to hints and tips.

This profiles your furniture and provides them with content. You’ll be able to track traffic to your website from their blogs, so you’ll be able to measure whether it worked.

This is obviously a condensed version of how you develop a strategy and a basic example. There is much more involved but the underlying message is simple. Always ask why.


Ps – if you do need help understanding the difference between strategy and tactics, it’s worth reading Sandra Oliver’s book Public Relations Strategy.

About Us

We’re a collective of independent, professional women who have more than 20 years experience on 4 continents in creating and delivering content that appeals to a vast array of target markets, from aged care to travel.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaanxaaaajdg4zdzimmixlwu4mdmtndc1zs05mjbhlwqxnzrjywu4mdk0zaRebecca Johnston

I wrote my first long story aged 8 and my love of creating stories continues 30 years later! From Perth to London and back again, my public relations career has ranged from staging photo shoots with the Archbishop of Canterbury to corraling soldiers for media interviews. I’m now settled in WA as a PR Consultant, working with enterprises in both Australia and the UK. Follow me on Twitter @beccaanneJ

Iris Joschko Key Content CollectiveIris Joschko

My earliest memory of handling a camera was when, as a young child, I went on a photographic adventure with my dad. He was as passionate about his photography and his Nikon camera then as I am now. I’ve worked for many years in the design and PR industries in Africa and Australia, and now specialise in photography, styling and logo/stationery design. You can see my photo portfolio here: Iris Joschko Photography

Jane Hammond Key Content CollectiveJane Hammond

Playing with words or seeing eyes lit up by stories are a joy for me. Words are my career, which spans many years and 3 countries. As an editor / journalist, I’ve worked on books and magazines, and in PR on media releases, articles, websites, blogs, social media and video creation. Alongside Key Content Collective, I currently work part-time for OM4, who develop excellent websites for small/medium businesses.

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