No company or organization exists without public relations. In fact, all individuals are involved in public relations, even if they call it differently. A clear and comprehensive PR plan (or lack thereof) determines both our appearance and performance to the most significant extent. So, if we want to sell (in the most general sense of the word) whatever it is that we want to sell, we need a well-thought-out PR plan.
Mind, however, that the effectiveness of a particular PR plan will largely be determined by your niche and the nature of your work. In other words, PR plans are always individual, and there is, unfortunately, no universal formula that anybody could use and magically put together a killer PR plan. Still, there are steps that you can take to find the PR plan that will work best for you:
Step 1: Set Goals
Everything you do should have a particular purpose – especially when it comes to such critical matter as PR. You need to have a clear idea of what it is exactly that you want to achieve. There can be several goals, and they can be either general – such as increasing the awareness of your brand among your audience, or more concrete – such as attracting more followers on Instagram.
Step 2: Visualize Your Audience
Naturally, any PR campaign is aimed at a particular audience. This means that for your campaign to be successful, you need to foresee how your audience will react to your actions as precisely as you can. You should understand which buttons you need to push to achieve a particular reaction. This can only be done if you have a clear picture of what the individual people from your target audience are like – what they look like, how they think, etc.
Step 3: Define Your Objectives
Once you know your goals and your target audience, it is time to set the objectives for your campaign. As you understand, an objective is more precise than a goal, as it describes your desired outcome in terms of the audience involved, the level of their growth (preferably in a percentage), and the time that you are ready to allocate to each objective.
Step 4: Build Strategies for Your Objectives
As soon as you define your objectives, you have to pen the strategies that you will employ to reach these objectives. Notably, there does not necessarily have to be one strategy per objective. You can employ one strategy to reach several objectives, or you can use multiple strategies for one objective. A strategy defines an activity or a set of activities that you will do to reach an objective – including, but not limited to, the message that you wish to communicate to your audience and the method(s) of communication involved.
Step 5: Pick Tactics for Your Strategy
The tactic here means the number of resources that you are ready to spend on a particular strategy and a detailed description of how exactly these resources will be used. Here, you should take your time and write down all the possible resources that you may need – down to stationery and chat-bots.
Step 6: Plan Your Activities
Now that you have defined your strategies and tactics, it is time to plan the activities you will carry out to achieve your goals. The plan may look like a table where you write each activity, its resources and tactics along with the strategies that include these activities and the objectives at which they are aiming.
Step 7: Consider Feedback
When you have a detailed plan of activities at hand and a strong understanding of your target audience in mind, try and emulate all of your activities in your head. See what outcomes they may lead to and what feedback you may get both from your target audience and from the general public. This will help you see if anything needs to be changed in your plans to achieve the feedback you desire.
Step 8: Calculate and Gather Resources
Once your plan is finalized, it is high time to take a step back and look at the tactics section of your plan. Put all the resources together in one list and see if any of them can be spared. At this point, you should either be confident that you have all these resources at hand or know how you will obtain them.
Step 9: Complete a Budget
All (or, at least, most) of your resources should have a price tag to them. So simply add them all together to see how much money your campaign will require. It is critical that you include all the possible expenses here in order not to go over your budget while actually performing your campaign. These expenses should include not only the resources that you will need for the campaign and the wages of your staff, but also possible transportation costs and other out-of-pocket expenses.
And – there you have it. Now, pick the ultimate time to press the start button and to keep track of the activities to make sure that everything goes according to your plan.