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