For those tasked with developing and delivering a PR strategy for their organization, here are ten tasks to help you on your way. Once these essential planning elements are in place you will be able to hit the ground running!
1. Soak day
A great starting point for PR activity is to hold an initial immersion day to spend some time with key areas of the business and understand their targets. Use this session to soak up as much information as you can. This will determine key talking points to cover in your PR activity.
2. Messaging document
The soak day will result in a lot of material which needs to be organized into a messaging document. This should be organized into key messages, proof points and a supporting background story for each key message. This will be the ultimate reference document to assist you in planning.
3. Media training for spokesperson
Most managing directors are charismatic and many will already be media trained. However there may be a key spokesperson who's not benefited from such training. Run a session and take them through the messaging document until they are comfortable with it.
4. Put together a boiler plate
A boiler plate is the text about your company that follows the end of a press release. This will summarize your company in a few key paragraphs so it needs to be strong. It is also a great SEO opportunity to add a couple of key word links to the text.
5. Press kit
Make it easy for the journalist to get the required information they need about your key spokesperson and give them easy access to images that represent your company. Make sure your press kit is easy to find on your website.
6. Identify key audience
Work with the sales team to identify the key targets for your activity. Connect with them online or join specific social groups in order to reach your target demographic in other ways. Don’t forget about internal audiences either. Your colleagues are fellow brand ambassadors and can help share your news across social platforms meaning they are as important as external audiences. Keep them updated with any new campaigns and let them know exactly how their help benefits the business.
7. Media target list
Identify which publications and their journalists are relevant to your key audience. Build relations and start engaging with them and sharing their news. This will help separate your news from the hundreds of other requests they receive every day.
Before you start positioning your business in the market, it is important that you hear what your target market thinks of you. Whether you collect this on your website or through surveying your customer base, this will give you some insight into the kinds of things you should be addressing in your strategy.
9. Put together a plan (setting realistic goals)
List the activity that you plan to undertake and explain the objective of each campaign. Set yourself some realistic targets and share this with key internal stakeholders so they are aware of your goal.
Track each article you push out using utm tracking tags in analytics. This way you will be able to back up your success with data. An important aspect of planning is to review the three or six month period prior to that. What are your key learning points? It is important to present this to the key internal stakeholders at the end of the agreed plan and this will enable you to plan more effectively for the next quarter.
10. Hold regular internal sessions
Keep in regular contact with key internal stakeholders to get new ideas for editorial and opinion pieces as their sales pitch should be reflected in your PR activity.