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