The practice of Public Relations is ever-changing. With the rise of more tools comes more possibility for getting your company out there. If you plan out your PR efforts with a strategy, you’re more likely to be set up for success than fly by the seat of your pants.
Every strategy needs a goal, a target you are aiming for. Make it specific. Social media fans? Exceeding last quarter’s sales by a percentage? Getting a feature in a specific publication without paying for it? The goal will determine what PR tools will help you reach it.
PR has been synonymous with Media Relations (working with media to inform the public of an organization’s efforts) for many years. If you’re running a recognizable brand, a news release alone may create coverage for you. For most of us, a good strategy requires execution of a mix of online and offline tactics. More PR companies than ever are being asked to produce ongoing content to keep the brand fresh and the site dynamic for organic search.
One way to plan the strategy is to think in terms of Earned, Owned, and Paid Media.
EARNED MEDIA = Articles, interviews, blogs, and social media mentions that a company earns by reaching out to media or influencers, or making information available (I’m very much a fan of online newsrooms).
OWNED MEDIA = Stories, blogs, videos, and messages owned by the company, typically hosted on its website and social media accounts. By crafting your own stories, you can say what you want instead of relying on a media outlet to report it for you (just make sure you are transparent!).
PAID MEDIA = Advertisements, promotions, or stories that require payment to a media outlet to publish.
Speaking of paid… you MUST set a budget! A budget for your strategy is absolutely necessary for good planning.
Lastly, find ways of measuring. Were goals met or not? If not, what tactics can be improved on to meet the goal? PR often relies on intuition combined with trial and error, so always know what is or is not working. Good luck!