Creating a Killer PR Strategy for Any Business
by Farhan Majid
Even though I am no Ashley Zandey (just so you know she’s leading PR for Facebook) but I do try to keep up with whatever is happening in the digital marketing world and so just thought let’s talk some PR – accronym for ‘Public Relations’.
What is PR?
Public Relations (PR) is the process most known for relationship building and third party credible endorsement.
The definition is quite simple i.e Relationship Building and Third Party Credible Endorsement. But there’s a whole new world around it. Every PR strategy involves a program and scheme of things.
It all starts with a plan and here’s how you can skyrocket your PR campaign.
PR is not just traditional media
It’s really important to choose and target the right audience you share your news with. This will include the journalists, of course, but also the news media influencers and bloggers who have huge online networks and you are certain they will share it with their friends. Not only this but you can also share your story directly to customers who are you advocates and will share on your behalf.
Understand your existing audience
Searching through social media communities or tracking keywords can let you tune in to conversations about you which your customers are already taking part in. In today’s world chances are they can be found on top social media networks like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin etc, just to name a few. Once you’ve gathered insights you can share much more meaningful and valuable information with them.
There’s more to PR than mere News Release
Depending on your industry there will be number of journalists with various publications who will be interested in your news announcements. Companies normally use blog posts, multimedia content types like videos, infographics with social media sharing capabilities. All this news is shared to social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and others. It’s also important to judge and understand the audience for each platform you’re posting news on separately. The culture in these different networks and communities might differ from each other. You might observe on some platforms people are more passionate about sharing your announcement with their friends as compared to others.
PR is about being Data Educated
With an abundance of data at your fingertips, it’s up to your shoulders to make sense and create insights based on it. This is inevitable for your program’s success and progress. If you are in PR, being data educated is an essential skill to have. This means being able to understand the market and your audience by keeping track of the efforts made during the PR program.
How to do PR Research?
PR Research is essential. Research is simply defined as the systematic collection and interpretation of information. You can use the information to increase your understanding and knowledge about the target public you want to reach. Here are five ways that you can take advantage of information that’s at your fingertips because of the internet and social media.
- Surveys and questionnaires
- Focus groups
- Website analytics
- Research reports and studies
- Social media intelligence
Formulating a Killer PR Strategy
Never jump in with your both feet. The basic principle applies here too. For a successful PR strategy and implementation you need to put everything in writing. Here are the essentials of a fool proof PR strategy.
Overview for the Bosses
Even though you can’t have a summary or overview unless you’ve figured out the whole plan but still this needs to the first piece of the plan. This summary is for the busy bosses and executives who are happy to read through the highlights of the overall plan rather than reading the whole thing. Make sure you have everything prioritized in it.
Why the PR Strategy?
You really have to understand the background of the situation and lay the groundwork for why you’re developing a plan to begin with. Your Background and Situation Analysis will uncover major issues or challenges that you’ve faced with your communication program. You’ll also identify and share the mission statement, vision and values in this section.
The plan has a message statement that captures the overall idea of your plan. It’s your major ideas or overall theme. This piece of the plan outlines what you’re trying to convey in the form of important messages that will help to create the outcomes that you’re looking to achieve.
Your plan will break down audiences into segments. Then, you’ll need to prioritize how important it is to build a relationship with these groups of stakeholders. You’ll be thinking about how these constituencies are tied to the issues represented and understanding their interests and what would move them into action.
Message for the Key Audience
Here’s where you take your overall messaging and really break them down to meet the specific needs of a particular target public. You’re also prioritizing these groups and what they need to hear from you. Often tweaking the messages to make the communication much more relevant to their personal or professional interest or cause.
Implementing your PR Plan
Implementation covers what happens when you roll out your program and how you’re going to achieve all of the expected outcomes. You have to outline the details of the launch from what messaging you’re using and the media vehicles to the communication tactics and what monitoring services need to be put in place to evaluate program success.
What’s your Budget?
Make sure your budget is well planned out and those hidden costs don’t creep up on you later. Outlining carefully every item in your plan and marking each with a price tag is one way of planning your budget. Your budget might include video production costs, designer fees, media services and event logistics.
Monitoring and Measurement
This is the final piece of your plan, but probably the most important. If you’re not measuring, then why bother implementing your program? Monitoring must be set in advance, and you have to know how you’re measuring and what you’re benchmarking against to illustrate true success. And, do you know what metrics you’ll capture? You have to identify if you’re evaluating your own peer outputs and the communications outcomes with respect to the relationships you build that add real impact or value.
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