Planning your PR - checklist

Planning your PR – checklistPR activities can help spread the word about your business for much less money than traditional advertising. This checklist explains how to promote your business through the press.

  • Decide which audience you are trying to influence: 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 or 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 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, niche websites).
  • Investigate their requirements: the types of story they cover, their style, and their publication deadlines.
  • Identify contacts and build relationships: for example, by inviting them to events or offering to provide useful introductions or 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, product launches, new premises, new employees or business milestones.
  • Consider creating PR opportunities: for example, holding an open day, commissioning a survey, running a competition, fundraising or sponsorship.
  • Investigate other opportunities, such as writing guest articles or blogs, supporting local events, becoming an active member of a business group, joining committees, going to conferences, writing a regular opinion or advice column or offering yourself as a public speaker.
  • Regularly review your efforts: consider which of your initiatives have generated worthwhile publicity and continue to create more opportunities in that vein.

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