No matter what industry you may be in, for small businesses today, developing a strategic public relations plan is of the utmost importance. Setting objectives and formulating a well-defined plan is essential for those who want to get their company’s name heard. However, as many small business owners have discovered, this process is often more complicated than it seems.
The first and most important thing to keep in mind is that planning a new PR plan, means planning ahead and creating a long-term plan. Successful public relations will not happen overnight. Typically, this means making a plan that lasts around a year. After putting a plan into place, you will want to come back after about six months to do an assessment and to document the success you have seen with your campaign.
However, before its time for reassessment, it is important to instigate the right type of PR of plan that will get your business the results you are looking for. The first place to start with a PR campaign is actually in the past. Before developing a new initiative, you will want to look back on your previous public relations efforts. Many times the past is the best place for inspiration and the best way to learn from mistakes. Take a look at the times when your company did get media coverage and examine what type of business received media attention and how you were able to get positive coverage. Take a look at the instances that also got your negative or neutral coverage. Assess the results or downfalls of your campaigns and use this information moving forward when making decisions.
From there you will want to assess your different professional objectives and use this as a base for developing your goals and your plans for your media campaign. Different companies will have different types of goals in mind for their public relations campaigns and the type of media coverage that they are looking to get. Having a set plan in place for what it is you are looking to achieve can help you reach your goals. These goal can be either subjective or objective. You may also want to include goals for public speaking events, writing a byline for an article, or engaging in other activities that may be able to get your company name out in the public.
Finally, you will want to create a plan and put in some milestones that you can accomplish along the way. As you develop your plan of attack, consider things that you want to happen during the year. This can be media coverage on a product launch, or the goal of having an article published in the newspaper covering an event you throw during the year. These milestones are important and should all be part of your plan. During the planning process you will also want to create a calendar of different times you are planning on creating news releases. With this calendar, make sure you have crafted a media outreach plan with a list of the names of some of the top media outlets that you can contact with press releases and news about your company. The more detailed your plan is the better.
As you go through the year, make sure you are documenting your successes and failures so that you can properly assess just how successful you are with your new PR campaign.