A PR strategy is vital to reaching your communication goals. You wouldn’t implement an entire IT system without a comprehensive roadmap and the same goes for public relations.
A PR strategy will help to guide your PR activities and inform your PR agency to make strategic decisions about the best ways to communicate your message with key stakeholders.
Here are eight essentials in your PR strategy checklist:
1. Business objectives
It’s important to be clear about your goals before beginning any business activity and PR is no different. Whether you want to recruit top talent, drive sales in a target market or attract investors, clearly set out these objectives at the beginning of your PR engagement to help align your agency with your overall business goals.
2. Target audience
Public relations is all about communicating clear and consistent messages to target audiences. Once you know what you want to say, the next step is deciding who you want to say it to. Do you want to engage recent graduates or become a reputable name with C-suite executives? Your PR strategy will vary depending on who your key stakeholders are, so having your desired audience in mind should be an early-stage step.
3. Key messages
Once you have decided on your objectives, you’ll need to identify key messages that you want to distribute to key stakeholders. Do you have a unique piece of technology that saves your clients’ employees hours or have an engaging and inclusive workplace policy? By developing a messaging platform that clearly outlines what your organisation is all about, your PR agency will be able to incorporate these key messages into all communications collateral.
4. Trained spokespeople
If your company is engaging in PR, you will want a confident calm and media-trained spokesperson who can speak on behalf of your organisation and reinforce key messages in media interviews. Your PR agency will be able to facilitate media training and ensure that your chosen spokesperson succeeds in high-profile interviews.
5. News angle
Journalists want interesting news angles that will appeal to their readers. It’s vital to keep this in mind when devising a PR strategy. If you’re launching a cutting-edge new service, creating new jobs or revealing thought-provoking research, your PR agency will be able to advise on who might be interested in covering the story and how best to proceed with an issue strategy.
6. Issue strategy
Once you have developed newsworthy and compelling content and determined your target audience, the next step is to focus on your issue strategy. All journalists have specific topics that they enjoy writing about, and a good PR professional will use this knowledge when pitching your organisation’s press release. By cleverly targeting key publications and using their relationships with top journalists, your agency will know how to maximise media coverage for your business.
7. Result measurement
Whether it’s high quality media coverage, social media engagement, search engine rankings or sales leads, measuring the effect of your PR strategy will help to understand which parts of the PR output have worked and which haven’t quite been successful. Just like any other business activity, PR should be revised and optimised to ensure your goals are being reached.
8. Crisis PR planning
Sometimes, issues emerge and you need to be ready to respond. How you communicate in the event of a major data breach, a criminal investigation into a senior executive, or your response in the event Coronavirus hitting your company, will make a major impact on how successfully you recover. Make sure you have identified and prioritised the issues that could emerge and plan to respond. Don’t leave yourself exposed to damaging the positive brand profile you have build by being ill prepared for a PR crisis.
A PR profile does not happen overnight. The first step is to simply get going. Identify where you want to get to, put a PR strategy in place and start pushing your brand out. Things will change, new opportunities will emerge. Stay nimble and capitalise in changing media objectives, and you will get to where you want to, even if you need to take a few detours en route.
If you are a tech related company and looking to grow your business, feel free to get in touch. We have lots of experience and love helping companies like your get to where you want to.