PR: How do I write a Public Relations Plan?

Ever wonder why people pay for a PR firm? What kind of publicity do they get for their money? Here are some of the things a Public Relations agency should be doing for you. Or, if you choose to write your own plan, here’s what you should include.

  1. Messaging
  2. Media Training
  3. Construct Story
  4. Media or Press Kit
  5. Generate Media Opportunities
  6. Build Strategic News Pipeline
  7. Editorial Calendar Outreach
  8. Leverage Events
  9. Media tour
  10. Media Events

Let’s look at that a little bit further. What does it mean? What do you really get?

PR Messaging

If your company has not already come up with its positioning and a clear set of messages, your PR firm can craft those for you. They should be reinforcing your brand, positioning and messages throughout everything they do. This is key and fundamental to the success of every marketing program.

Media Training

Everyone in your company who will be interviewed by the media should trained on how to communicate effectively with them. You need to learn how to answer questions in a way that supports your messaging. You should be prepared to expect certain questions and the best ways to get your message across.

Construct Story

Your PR Agency should be able to take your messages and translate them into multiple stories that appeal to a variety of media that target your ideal customer. They will also create and pitch each story to the media.

Media or Press Kit

A media kit (sometimes called press kit) is like a resume for your company. It includes:

  1. A letter of introduction to the company
  2. The company profile, history, and management
  3. Product and service information and brochures
  4. Recent reviews, publications and articles
  5. Press releases
  6. Audio or video files of interviews, speeches and performances
  7. A sample news story
  8. News related to the industry or investor news
  9. List of frequently asked questions
  10. Other information such as awards, photos, white papers, schedule of promotions and events, statistics, samples or examples, logo and image art, an order form.

Generate Media Opportunities

Create a targeted list of media and analyst contacts. Start contacting them locally then build nationally and internationally.  Pitch stories. Position your company as the go-to source of information on your subject.

Build Strategic News Pipeline

Develop a scheduled series of news releases (press releases) and draft the announcements that strategically roll out different aspects of the story.

Editorial Calendar Outreach

Identify publications that target your ideal customer and make a list of the planned stories or editorial opportunities that exist within their annual calendar.  Pitch you product/service where appropriate.

Leverage Events

Develop a PR strategy to leverage events that your company hosts or participates in. Recruit press to cover the stories.

Media tour

A media tour is when you meet with editors and reporters to introduce your company, product or service. The end goal is to build the relationship so that they print an article about your product, service or company, or that they come to you for quotes.

Media Events

Just as  you need to build community among your customers, you need to build community among the press. You want to build your brand or image in their mind and then stay top of mind with them. An event is a perfect way to do this. It may be as simple as a sneak-preview party or a press appreciation party. Free food and drink is always appealing.

With the exception of the media kit and the media events, most of these activities do not cost much money in terms of materials. But they do take time. If you want to write a plan for yourself, you should include most of these tactics. Typically a company will outsource these functions because they don’t have the time and the existing relationships with the press. if you choose this route, look for a firm that already has established relationships with the media outlets that reach your target customer.

About Debra Zimmer

After 25 years of growing entrepreneurial businesses at companies such as Microsoft, where she attracted 700,000 members into an online community in 18 months and then grew a second one to 250,000 members in 10 months, Debra Zimmer then struck out on her own to grow an online retail store to 6-figures of income and put it on AUTOPILOT for 3 years. With an engineering degree and an MBA from Columbia Business School, Debra is the undisputed expert in helping experts, entrepreneurs and executives to focus their brilliance and magnify their impact using social media and internet marketing tactics.

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