PR stands for public relations. This crucial set of tactics involves creativity and strategy.
You can positively impact your brand if you know how to do PR. But if you don’t know where to start, we got your back.
In this post, we’ll talk about how you can easily and quickly create a PR strategy.
What Is a PR Strategy?
A PR strategy refers to tactics that help a brand make, organize, and measure the effectiveness of its public relations efforts. While separate from a marketing strategy, a PR strategy supports marketing efforts.
In a sense, a PR strategy is similar to a marketing one because it’s all about spreading a message about your brand, but without the business goals that usually involve sales.
On top of that, public relations strategy may address one goal or cover a whole year of campaigns. It also aims to enhance a brand’s image.
In particular, a PR strategy includes publicity and coverage on relevant media outlets, publications, social media, blogs, podcasts, and the like.
PR experts use three types of media channels to execute a PR strategy: owned, paid, and earned.
In most situations, a public relations strategy spreads the word about your business, services, or products to improve recognition and maintain positive relationships with your audience.
Another often overlooked use of a PR strategy is crisis management. This refers to fixing a situation in which your brand’s image suffered.
An example would be an employee doing something illegal or a data breach.
How to Create a PR Strategy
You can create a PR strategy in two ways. You can do it yourself or hire a PR agency to do it for you. The second option is easier and a lot more convenient.
But if your budget is tight and you feel you can do it all by yourself, this section outlines how you can craft a PR strategy.
1. Identify your target audience.
If you’ve been dabbling with PR or marketing, you already know that identifying your target audience is the first step to creating any strategy.
To correctly identify yours, note that different audiences spend time in different places.
You can better determine which outlets and platforms to use by identifying the audience. This will allow for more targeted pitches and relatable stories to share.
For instance, a coffee shop in college areas across the US wants to create a PR Strategy. In this case, their target audience is college students.
So, they must focus their PR efforts on online platforms like Instagram, where college students hang out. They can also tap publications like BuzzFeed since college students tend to relate to their content.
2. Outline your goals.
Next, make a list of your goals.
Whether addressing a data breach or planning a year of image-building, you mustn't skip this step. Remember, even a short list of PR goals is enough to guide you and your team in the right direction.
Forming a solid foundation for your PR efforts will lead you to more success than one-off efforts. Make each goal a SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely) one. Then, stick to them when executing your strategy.
3. Create a timeline for your PR strategy.
Just as you should be realistic when setting your PR goals, you should closely examine the steps you plan to take during a PR campaign. You must also determine how much time each one will take.
Public relations success relies on delivering the right message at the right period. Hence, you must create a clear calendar for your PR strategy's short- and long-term components.
While the strategy depends on your PR needs, here are some typical stages you’ll want to include in your timeline:
This first stage includes writing up your entire PR strategy, establishing your tactics, and determining the KPIs (key performance indicators) you’ll use to measure the strategy’s effectiveness.
During this stage, you’ve finalized your key messages. This usually includes writing pitches or press releases for the media, posting guest blogs, writing articles for the company website, and posting on social media.
When creating your timeline, take note of public holidays and important industry dates. For example, the end of November is an important time for most e-commerce businesses because of Black Friday.
4. Set PR measurements.
Once you finish your timeline, decide how you’ll measure outcomes. PR isn't an exact science, but you can use PR measurements to gauge the effectiveness of your strategy.
Additionally, you must align your PR measurements with business goals. It helps you see the connection between your PR strategy and profits.
5. Launch the Campaign and Adjust.
Once you’re done with everything above, it’s time to spread the word about your brand.
You may need to write guest blogs, publish content changes, reach out to journalists, and create a social media account to execute your PR strategy.
The distribution part of your timeline will likely last the longest, depending on your tactics. You may also need to repeat the most successful tactics over time.
Executing a PR strategy is a long process, so you must make the most out of it. Keep track of your KPIs (key performance indicators), and adjust your strategy depending on what works for your brand.
Here you go, PR folks. You now have the know-how to create a successful PR strategy for your business. So grab your paper or laptop and start crafting an attention-grabbing, sales-generating PR strategy.
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