A PR plan is a vital part of your marketing armoury. It allows you to control how your company presents itself in the public eye and enables you to create content that directly supports the kinds of messaging you’d like to be associated with your organisation.
spottydog communications Client Services Director, Katie Bregazzi, explores how you can create a PR plan for your business.
Considering how to create a PR plan for your business can leave even the most experienced professional feeling stressed. Getting senior executives on board and proving the value of your plan can be tough, but with the right work up front you can set yourself up for success and increase buy-in from senior members of your business.
A PR plan should be at the heart of any good communications strategy, but what is a PR plan, how do you write one and how can you ultimately prove it is a success?
What is a PR plan?
Well, to start with, a PR plan should outline how you are going to communicate as a business and help you to outline activities that will enable you to control and manage the media narrative to best represent your company.
The very best PR plans are closely aligned to over-arching business objectives so that the communications team can directly evidence how PR efforts are supporting the company in hitting its goals.
This is important, as the C-Suite are going to want numbers to evidence your success. Being upfront and setting SMART objectives which illustrate what success looks like will mean that you can report back on metrics and this, in turn, will enable you to showcase how you’re making a measurable impact on the business.
Is your goal to shift the company’s latest product, reinforce your brand’s image or establish your expertise? Knowing what PR means for your business will enable you to align your activity in the best way so that you can support its success.
And having the key messaging to hand can help you to navigate more difficult times, too, and support you when you need to consider how to deal with a PR crisis.
Creating a PR plan
When creating your PR plan, you should think carefully about your target audience; who you want to reach and what you want to achieve. Really understanding this target audience is key — knowing what they read, what they care about and what socio-economic background they’re from will enable you to tailor communications activity that resonates and inspires them to take action.
And not only will this understanding help you to hone your messaging, but it will also enable you to work out the best ways to reach your audience — telling you whether you’d be better off spending your time focusing on LinkedIn or TikTok, what value trade press will add to your output and whether your audience are into glossy magazines or easy-to-digest digital alternatives.
This will then inform the next step, planning activities that will hit and resonate with your target audience and writing a PR campaign plan.
What is a PR campaign plan?
Put simply it is a document where you can think about all the various tactics you would like to use to reach your audience. At this stage, you should consider how you can use the PESO model of paid, earned, shared and owned content to maximise communications with your audience and ensure your content reaches your target audience and generates engagement.
Remember that PR is about more than just the press release. Consider how your target audience might react to other tactics, too, such as events, podcast appearances, blogs and social media content, and then create an editorial calendar bringing these tactics together with a tangible timeline.
This should, once again, focus on your business calendar — incorporating key dates, upcoming launches and big events. Think of your business as a news publisher. Consider what you have to shout about and examine what the best platform might be to share your story with the wider public and then use this to guide you through the planning process.
And, of course, once you have this in place, it’s important to measure your progress against your key objectives and KPIs. Look back at your original SMART objectives and consider how your performance is measuring up. Are you on track to hit your targets or do you need to alter your tactics a little? What does sentiment look like for the content you’re pushing out and is it helping to reinforce the reputation of your business or supporting product sales?
Of course, if you’d like a little help along the way, here at spottydog we’re always happy to help. As a multiple award-winning Birmingham PR agency, we have extensive experience creating plans for both B2B PR activity and B2C campaigns.