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Crafting a public relations plan: 4 tips to maximize success

Putting together a public relations plan is no easy task. Even a veteran media strategy consultant can struggle to be effective without the proper direction and engagement from clients. Here are four points to consider:

Know your audience

Who are you seeking to influence with this media outreach program? Competitors, clients, potential clients, talent at rival firms? Without clearly defining your target audience, the message can get muddled and your efforts will fall flat.

Once that audience is identified, a public relations consultant can effectively identify reporters and editors at relevant media outlets, potential conference opportunities and even awards worth submitting to, among other things.

Whether you are seeking a feature in a top-tier publication or to comment on the current news cycle in a trade publication, make sure you know who those words are directed at.

Define goals

Getting your firm in front of reporters and TV cameras is great, but how do you measure success? Establishing metrics that can easily enable you to measure the impact of a media campaign on your business should be one of the earliest steps you take.

These goals can relate to anything from an increase in revenue or assets under management to a rise in newsletter subscribers, social interactions or website visits; or anything else you may be considering. Whatever way you plan to measure success, make sure those targets are laid out and agreed upon ahead of time.

Choose a time frame

Your product is ready to launch, a media plan is set and goals are agreed upon. Great! Now we have to figure out when to make the big announcement. Will you do it this week or next? Do you want to share details under embargo with a select handful of reporters ahead the wider launch?

These details are as important as any other because even the best plans need a clearly plotted out timeline if only so key spokespersons know when to be available for media coaching and interviews.

Start spreading the news

The moment is finally here. Today's the day we take our message to the masses. But how will we do it? A press release is great, but it needs to be supported by proactive outreach to a list of target reporters and producers. Arranging a televised interview for the same day as the launch is hugely beneficial. So is an exclusive in your top choice media outlet. But more work should be done.

Sharing the news on company blogs and social media, send an email blast to people on your mailing list. Do you have client testimonials? Include them in your efforts.

These tips are meant to be a guide for those seeking to create a media plan but should not be taken literally. Not every method above fits every announcement or situation. A qualified public relations consultant will consider these and other factors when putting together your media plan in order to maximize your success and return on investment.

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