Before Writing a PR Plan
You've seen the value of a comprehensive PR strategy and you're ready to crank out a plan that will make a huge splash with media contacts. Not so fast . . . There are a lot of things to consider before writing a PR plan.
The process of creating a useful PR plan involves a lot more than firing up your laptop and creating an attractive business document.
Ideally, your PR plan will be the end product of a carefully designed strategy to highlight your company's strengths and help you achieve your company's larger objectives.
So before you begin the process of documenting a PR plan, there are several questions you need to consider.
What are my PR goals?
Before you create a PR plan, you need to consider what you hope your PR plan will accomplish. For example, do you want your PR efforts to pave the way for a new product launch? Or are you hoping your PR plan will further your rebranding efforts? Choose wisely because the goals you select will have an impact on everything else in your plan.
What does success look like?
How will you know when your PR plan has succeeded? Unlike advertising campaigns, it can be difficult to know when a PR campaign has paid off. Depending on your goals, signs of success could consist of things like increased traffic, greater brand recognition, or a shorter selling cycle. The tricky part is finding ways to measure success factors that are largely intangible and open to interpretation.
What does failure look like?
Likewise, you need to think about how you will know if your PR plan has failed or requires adjustments. When you create your plan, it will be important to include mechanisms for periodic evaluation so you can adapt your PR efforts to changing circumstances and make necessary improvements.
Who will be responsible for implementation?
PR plans don't implement themselves. You have to identify the team members who will be responsible for implementing each action item in your PR plan as well as the individual who will be given the authority for final signoffs. Although that person is probably the business owner, it might make sense to offload that responsibility to a key employee who is more focused on PR and marketing functions.
How will your PR plan fit into your strategic plan and your marketing plan?
A PR plan is just a part of a larger business plan. Before you outline the details of your PR plan, it's worth considering how your PR plan might be able to support and complement your other planning initiatives.
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Additional Resources for Entrepreneurs
What other questions should be answered before writing a PR plan? We welcome your comments, questions, and advice on writing effective PR plans.