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PR Fundamentals - How to set up a PR plan

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PR is all about situating your brand within the bigger picture. But as with any job, the day-to-day demands of your role often serve to distract you from that big picture. This is where a PR plan steps in, helping to navigate and prioritize your efforts for greater impact. 

Obviously, every brand is different, but there are some common components shared by all successful PR strategies. Let’s take a quick look at these steps together, and how each one of them will benefit your PR plan. If you want to look at each of these factors in more depth, check out our free PR Plan ebook.

  1. Assessing the situation

  2. Setting up goals and objectives

  3. Identifying your audiences

  4. Creating key messages

  5. Identifying tactics and channels

  6. Planning the budget

  7. Measuring the results


Assessing the situation

Analyzing your business’ current situation is the baseline for all PR plans. Working alongside stakeholders like Marketing, Product, Commercial, and Customer Support, PR can get a complete overview of the business situation, and the markets or environments that you’re operating in.


Setting up goals and objectives

Every PR activity in your plan should be accompanied by clearly stated goals and desired outcomes, such as increasing web traffic, newsletter subscriptions and share of voice on social media. Not only will these goals help keep you on track, measuring and analyzing your results can inform your future PR plans. 


Identifying your audience

Once you’ve gained a solid overview of your business’ current standing and goals, the next step for your PR plan is identifying your audience. Who are your customers and why do they use your product/service? What kind of media do they consume? Once you answer those questions, you can also identify audience influencers to target in future outreach efforts.


Crafting key messages

Hot on the heels of your audience research comes the creation of a key message: what story will resonate the most with them? What do you want and need to tell them? Keep it short, simple, and adaptable. Key messages are the anchor that keeps all your communication unified and consistent, and drives all the messaging on your other PR channels.


Identify tactics and channels

With so many methods nowadays for sharing your story, it’s important to acknowledge that you don’t have to do them all. Instead, identify the channels where your target audiences spend their time, and what tactics will get you the most value.

Common PR channels include:

  • A central newsroom or media center

  • Press releases

  • Blogs

  • Social media

  • Events
     

Planning the budget

What tools and resources will you need to put your PR plan into action? Research and prioritize where your spend your budget. PR teams commonly allocate budgets for tools, (paid) channels, events, and agencies.
 

Measuring the results

The old adage is true: “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Up your future PR game by learning from your current approach. While brand awareness isn’t exactly the easiest thing to measure, you can track your website’s traffic, SEO, and share of voice on both traditional and social media.

How can you best measure and analyze your results for future improvement? Read our guide on using Google Analytics for PR.
 

Concluding thoughts

These fundamentals can help any organization in setting an effective PR strategy, each step informing the next. Establishing a clear plan for your PR goals will prove invaluable in building your brand and connecting with your customers.

Check out our full ebook, ‘Setting up a PR Plan’ for an in-depth look at each aspect of a successful PR plan.

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