What should you include in your public relations plan?
When you set out to engage with media, create a buzz on social media or reach out to bloggers, it’s critical to have a solid plan of attack – and that means developing a robust public relations (PR) plan.
A good public relations plan will describe what you’re setting out to achieve, how you’ll get there and how you’ll measure your success. So, what should you include in your public relations plan?
The first thing to do is to assess the PR opportunity both internally and externally. Monitor the news agenda to see what is topical. Check out how your competitors are engaging with the media. Do your research on journalists, influencers and bloggers and what they’re interested in. You should also examine your internal resources, and mine your business for news and story angles. This will also help you assess whether you’re ready for PR and the environment in which you will execute it.
Identify your PR objectives and make sure they’re SMART objectives – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timebound. What are you trying to achieve and by when? How will it be achieved?
Determine who you are targeting. Which groups do you want to hear your message? Identify the ages, demographics, interests and needs of these groups. What media, blogs or social media channels do they consume?
Create key messages for your business. These are the easily digestible and succinct messages that you want heard and repeated consistently across all PR and communications channels.
Examine the news and stories you identified and further develop them into story angles with a clear hook. These will give colour and shape to your business by telling the stories which make your business interesting.
Identify which channels you’ll be using and make sure they correspond with your target audience. Target the publications, programs, blogs and social networks your target audience engages with.
Do your research on which journalists, editors, reporters, producers, bloggers or influencers you’ll need to target and create a target list. Ultimately you’ll also need their contact details when it comes time to contact them.
Decide upon which tactics will be most suitable for your story angles and target audience. Do you have something newsworthy to share which may suit a media release? Do you have a case study you can pitch? Can you write an opinion article to contribute to a publication or as a guest blog? Do you have a spokesperson who you can pitch for interviews?
Action plan & timeline
Break down all activity into an action plan and establish a clear timeline of activity. Some activity will require a longer lead time such as pitching into a print magazine.
KPIs & measurement
Set KPIs against your objectives so that you can measure success throughout your PR program or campaign. Are there particular media targets you especially want to reach, do you have targets for mentions on social media? You need to know what you’re working towards from the outset.
Do you need help establishing your PR plan?
Green Door Co has launched PR 4 SMEs – a comprehensive online course which will provide you with the knowledge and tools to launch your own successful PR program. The course is designed for startups, entrepreneurs, SMEs and marketing teams who want to upskill in PR. To find out more or to enrol click here.