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PR Strategy Template - How To Create A Convincing PR Plan

Public relations is all about changing how people think and act. To do this well, though, companies need a good digital PR strategy template that works toward goals and objectives that have already been set.

PR is usually used to get the word out about your company's products or services and help your target audience and the public has a good impression of your company.

Public Relations Plan Template

Whether you are starting a new business or want to change how the public sees your brand, a public relations (PR) plan can help you figure out what your goals are and how to reach them. This template gives you a place to start when making a public relations plan for any industry.

Your PR plan should be thought of as a document that changes over time. Be sure to change your plan when things outside of you or your own goals change.

Executive Summary

In business, it is a good idea to put an executive summary at the beginning of any long document. In no more than one or two pages, the executive summary should give a summary of everything in the report.

The executive summary is a brief that a C-level member of the organization can read quickly during a busy day to understand all the main points of the PR plan.

Note: Think about whether you should write the executive summary first or last. If you write it first, it can help you figure out what the rest of the document should say. Make sure to edit it at the end, because as you write, some details are likely to change. You can also write the full executive summary after you've finished writing all the other parts of the plan.

Situation Analysis

Every good plan starts with research into the history of the problem that needs to be solved. As part of your research for situational analysis, you should meet with stakeholders, such as senior leaders in your organization. You will also need to look at the competition and your industry as a whole by reading news articles and studies.

Your research is done when you can describe in detail how marketing is going at your company now and what needs to be done to make it better.

Make sure your research is focused on both trends inside and outside of your organization.

Goals

In this part of your PR plan, you should explain what the big goals are. If your company has had trouble with marketing in a certain way, talk about it here.

Describe what you want to accomplish and make sure your goals are reasonable and clear. Try not to have more than five goals on your list.

Objectives

Make a list of the PR plan's goals based on the goals you've already set. Think of these goals as the steps you need to take to reach your long-term goals.

Choose SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) goals that address the problem you found in your Situational Analysis.

Your goals should connect to the overall strategic plan of the organization.

Strategies, Tactics, And Activities

Break down your goals into strategies, tactics, and activities that can be done. In this part, you should explain how you will put your PR plan into action.

Schedule Of Activities

Include a calendar that shows when the most important things will happen. You can use the the following as columns in your table.

  • Activity
  • Description
  • Start Date
  • End Date

Tip: If you've found any chances to be innovative, write about them here.

Target Audience And Channels

Figure out who your target audience is and what their needs are. Usually, your target audience is made up of your current customers, the customers you want to get, the people who have an effect on them, and the media.

You should also choose the channels you want to use. How does the information that your audience needs get to them? You should pick the media outlets they use the most and trust the most.

When deciding on your target channels, make sure to think about both traditional media like radio and TV and new media like websites, social media, mobile apps, and podcasts.

Key Messages

Now that you know your organization's goals, objectives, and audience, you can make a message that tells them what you want them to know about it. Your key messages are the most important ideas that will guide the rest of your PR content. Make sure they look trustworthy and easy to understand.

Note: Don't have more than three main points on your list.

Investment

Once you've decided on the strategies, tactics, and activities you'll use to put the PR plan into action, you should make a list of the resources you'll need. Resources can include things like the time of employees, equipment, buildings, and other materials.

Use a table and make the following as columns to list the things you will need and how much they will cost.

  • Resource
  • Cost
  • Quantity
  • Total
  • Total Cost

Note: You could also call this part "Budget."

Evaluation And Measurement

Evaluation and measuring are important parts of every plan. During the evaluation phase, you can find and work on areas that need to be better in the future.

Think about what success would look like and how you'll know when you've reached your goals when making your evaluation plan. Describe how you will keep track of and show the results of your plan's activities once they are done.

Note: You might want to look over your PR plan regularly, maybe every three months.

Why PR Plan Is Important?

Public relations (PR) are a key part of any business's marketing plan. A marketing plan usually has three parts: marketing, advertising, and public relations (PR). Each of the three parts needs to have a plan that works well with the other two.

A public relations plan is important because it helps you lay out your organization's main goals and how you want your brand to be seen in the market. Public relations help you control how people think about your business. When you have a plan, the brand knows exactly what its business goals are and what its main stories are.

Getting a story in Forbes, Entrepreneur, or another top-tier large publication is an example of PR and media exposure. Guest spots on podcasts and TV shows are also great ways to get media attention. These are just a few examples, but there are many other ways that the media can cover something. A PR spot is always a good thing, no matter if it is local, national, international, or all of the above.

Until it's not, you'll need your PR agent to do damage control and protect your reputation if that happens, especially in today's cancel-culture climate.

PR can help your business in a few ways:

It Is Cost-effective

PR is less expensive than buying ads and running pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. If you hire a public relations (PR) agent, you will have to pay for their services to get you coverage in the media. However, reputable media outlets won't charge you for the coverage they get you.

Better Than Advertising

PR is better than advertising because it spreads the word through word of mouth. With advertising, you have to pay to get the word out. Consumers are smart and aware, and they know when they are being sold something.

Boosts Brand Visibility

When your brand is in the news, it becomes more well-known and respected, and it will live on the internet forever. The segments and pieces will always be available and can be used again and again to remind customers that you are the brand expert.

Builds A Connection With Your Customers

Because the content is relatable, the stories you tell about your brand and how those stories make people feel build a relationship with your customer.

Increases The Number Of Sales

The key to making a sale is for the customer to know, like, and trust you. When a customer has felt these three things, they are more likely to buy from you. PR helps make your brand look like the expert, makes it known, and builds relationships with your clients so they like you.

A phone with the word 'BUY' on its screen, a megaphone, and a Youtube logo
A phone with the word 'BUY' on its screen, a megaphone, and a Youtube logo

How To Create A PR Strategy

It takes work to plan strategic PR. Even more important, it must first be thought out and planned. Start by following the PR strategy outline below.

Outline PR Goals

A good way to start making a PR plan is to write down your PR goals. Gregg Feistman, who is the Assistant Chair for Public Relations at Temple University, says that you should think about what you want to get out of your PR efforts.

  • Creating an entrée to boost sales
  • Boosting the morale and productivity of employees
  • Getting more people to join and keep them
  • Getting to know the people in the communities where your company does business and making friends as a way to avoid future problems.
  • Getting a product or service out there
  • Getting into a new area market
  • Changing how people think
  • Once you know what your PR goals are, you can move on to the next step.

Do Your Research

To make a good PR plan, you might want to do some research and learn a lot about the brand you are representing. This also includes important trends, media stories, and the feelings of the audience.

Director of Public Relations at eStreet.co, Erin Yamauchi, usually starts with a simple SWOT analysis and list of:

Strengths: What the brand does well, what makes it different from others, what resources are available to help the brand grow, and what products or services are the best.

Weaknesses: Things that the brand could do better, things that competitors do better, better products or services, things about the brand that need to be clearer, unclear messaging.

Opportunities: underserved markets, untapped audiences, emerging markets, or new needs for a brand's products or services.

Threats: New competitors, falling demand for products or services, industry conflicts, and bad feelings from customers

At this point, it's also important to look more closely at how your brand communicates through different channels and platforms (including your own website, social media profiles, and online newsroom). Gregg Feistman says that you should ask yourself these questions:

What's your website like? Is it easy to find, read, and move around? Are the colors, design, and layout easy to read? Is there something really important that you think is missing?

How do you show up on social media? Have you got one? If so, how much engagement does it get?

Have you been in the news lately? Was the tone of the news coverage good, bad, or neutral?

What about the messages on your mailings, signs, fliers, and newsletters? Are they things that your audience cares about? Studies have shown, for example, that employees care much more about what's going on at work than about things like anniversaries, birth announcements, and service celebrations.

What you're doing is called a communication audit. It gives you a full picture of what and how you talk to all the people who are important to you.

Get To Know Your Target Audiences

Erin Yamauchi says that PR pros should know everything there is to know about a brand's key audiences. Basic demographic information, like age, gender, location, and HHI, is a good starting point, but it's more important to understand more qualitative characteristics, like interests, priorities, and lifestyle goals, when making a PR plan.

For strategic PR planning, it's also important to know how your business is seen by the people you want to reach. You can directly ask people what they think or use different media monitoring and data analytics tools to find out what they think.

Think of a PR strategy as a positioning statement: “Position YOUR ORGANIZATION as X.” How do you fill in the blank? You don’t have to. If you’ve done the right research and you’ve asked the right questions, your audience will do it for you. They’ll tell you what characteristics they associate with you

If it’s not what you want to be associated with, that’s called a communication or perception gap, between what you want audiences to think of you as vs. how they currently perceive you. Then, we use communication techniques to close that gap. – Gregg Feistman, Assistant Chair for Public Relations @ Temple University

Set The Objectives And PR Plan Timeline

Gregg Feistman said that goals should be made for each important target audience of the organization. Depending on your PR goals, they can work together or stand on their own.

Still, goals must have two things: a measurable result and a timeline for the PR plan. Most of the time, they only have one sentence, like "Increase X by Y% in six months." So, you'll be able to compare the end results to what you did and how hard you worked.

Choose PR Tactics

This is the fun part: think about press releases, social media posts, and events. There are a lot of ways to do PR. But if they don't help you get where you want to be and show how you want to be seen, you should either change them or stop putting resources into them.

Measure Results

Now, let's talk about why your goals have to be measurable in the first place: you're going to measure and evaluate what you've done to see if it matches what you set out to do in your PR plan.

How to Create a Successful PR Campaign

People Also Ask

How do you write a PR strategy?

  • Make a project timeline.
  • Set your goals.
  • Identify your target audience.
  • Think about who you're up against.
  • Write down your main points.
  • Plan and carry out strategies.
  • Measure results.

What is included in a PR strategy?

The best public relations plans are detailed and have a clear outline of objectives, key messages, audiences, strategies, and metrics that can be used as a road map to reach a certain goal.

What are the five 5 key elements of a PR plan?

  • Know your target audience.
  • Set goals that are doable.
  • Develop a message.
  • Know your competition.
  • Stay relevant.

Conclusion

So, now you know the steps you need to take to plan your PR strategy template. Your PR efforts should be aimed at improving your brand's image or getting back on your feet after a disaster. However, if you can do both of these things while also increasing sales, you've really hit the sweet spot.

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About The Authors

Keith Peterson

Keith Peterson - I'm an expert IT marketing professional with over 10 years of experience in various Digital Marketing channels such as SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), SMO (social media optimization), ORM (online reputation management), PPC (Google Adwords, Bing Adwords), Lead Generation, Adwords campaign management, Blogging (Corporate and Personal), and so on. Web development and design are unquestionably another of my passions. In fast-paced, high-pressure environments, I excel as an SEO Executive, SEO Analyst, SR SEO Analyst, team leader, and digital marketing strategist, efficiently managing multiple projects, prioritizing and meeting tight deadlines, analyzing and solving problems.

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