Developing your PR plan

When developing a PR plan, stick to the basics and keep it simple.

Who’s in your target group?

Start by understanding who you want to target.

PR is mostly about how you can improve relations between your organization and its key stakeholders. Therefore, ask yourself the question: Who’s in your top five most important target groups?

For example, for an organization in the IT sector, you have IT and tech bloggers, journalists covering IT, various suppliers, investors, etc.

Once you know who you’re talking to can, you then decide how and what to say? The more specific you are with your target group, the easier it is to communicate with them.

Define your goals

As we saw in how to measure your PR, you need to start by identifying your goals. Be specific and include numbers. Also, add a deadline for when you are to meet this goal.

Choose key topics and messages

What topics are essential for your organization to communicate around?

Again, if you’re an organization in the IT software sector, you may wish to educate, inform, or persuade potential customers about why having anti-virus software is so important; what types of anti-virus programs exist; at what cost, and other features to consider when choosing software. Your target group would be potential customers who don’t currently have an anti-virus program in place. Your key message is ‘You are at risk of being hacked.’ And your channel could be to inform them through a newsletter and direct email campaign. Mission accomplished!

Create your distribution plan

An excellent model to use to plan how to get your communications out is the P.E.S.O model (standing for Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned).

By using the PESO model, you consider all channels of distribution. Different activities apply to different parts of the model, whether it be paid, earned, shared or owned. Write down all the activities you will be implementing to achieve your goals.

In the case of the IT software company, you could:

  • Put a sponsored article in a local newspaper about the risks of being hacked and why it’s essential to have an anti-virus program (Paid).
  • Send out a press release on the latest number of hacking cases to all journalists who cover IT software (Earned).
  • Publish the post on Facebook, LinkedIn (Shared)
  • Communicate the topic via your newsletter, email, and a post on your blog (Owned)

Create a channel strategy and use an editorial calendar

Different audiences have different channel selection preferences. Which audience do you reach best via which channel? If you don’t have a good channel strategy, it won’t matter how relevant your message is because your audience will never get it. Be sure to customize the format, length and tonality of your message based on the selected platform.

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