How to plan your PR


Checklist

  1. Decide what audience you are trying to influence, whether it's customers, potential employees or the local community.
  2. Clarify your objectives; most PR aims to build your reputation with customers and increase awareness of your business and products.
  3. Establish your timescales and budget; consider alternatives (advertising, for example), particularly for short-term objectives.
  4. Decide who will be responsible for PR; establish how other employees should deal with press enquiries.
  5. Consider whether you should involve a PR agency, particularly if you have a large budget or want exposure in national media.
  6. Provide any necessary training in producing effective press releases and handling the media.
  7. Identify media which reach your audience and which are likely to give you coverage (eg local press, trade journals).
  8. Investigate their requirements: the types of story they cover, their style, and their publication deadlines.
  9. Identify contacts and build relationships: for example, inviting them to events or offering to provide useful industry information.
  10. Plan a sustained flow of press releases and other PR initiatives over a period of months or even years; do not expect immediate results.
  11. Identify any natural opportunities for PR: for example, new product launches, new premises, milestone events.
  12. Consider creating PR opportunities: for example, holding an open day, commissioning a survey, running a competition or sponsorship.
  13. Investigate other opportunities, such as submitting articles or letters for publication, supporting local events, or offering yourself as a public speaker.

Cardinal rules

Do:

  1. set clear objectives
  2. target suitable media and build relationships
  3. create a sustained flow of PR opportunities
  4. produce effective press releases

Don't:

  1. expect PR to have a short-term impact
  2. use PR when other promotional methods would be more effective