You’ve made a new product, you have an excellent upcoming service you can’t wait for the world to try, or you have a compelling story to tell everyone on the planet. Getting the word out about your new venture seems to be the most effortless piece of cake. Still, with the thousands of marketing messages sent out every day, you need a robust digital PR strategy to elevate your brand above your competition
Here is an outline to help you get started with your PR outreach and eventually get that PR coverage.
8 Step PR Plan
When you take on a big task like a PR strategy, whether it’s your first time or not, having a plan is essential. It acts as your roadmap, and like any other map, it shows you direction and guides you in your every step. At times, goals are overwhelming if you don’t know how to begin. Fortunately, when you have a detailed plan, you can take the big chunk of your goals and begin to dissect how you’re going to achieve it one by one, in smaller, easy-to-digest pieces.
Follow these eight steps in creating a navigable PR plan:
Define your goals and objectives
Before you can get anywhere, you must know where you’re going first. Having a goal in mind keeps you in the right direction. Of course, you should be able first to determine what you want to achieve and if it’s the right goal to which you should direct your efforts.
The ultimate question to ask is, “What does your business want to achieve in the future?”
What do you want to achieve as a result of your audience seeing your content?
Your goals should also be specific. Saying that you want to “increase brand awareness” is a noble goal, but it’s blurred around so many edges as opposed to “increase more sign-ups or purchases” or “drive an increased website traffic.”
Identify Your Audience
After defining what you want to achieve, you need to know who you want to achieve it. Your audience’s behavior, demographic, and sociographic factors, among others, will help you decide later on what strategies to employ and what communication channels to use.
It would help if you also considered others aside from your audience or simply your customers, website visitors, and social media followers. These include the media and influencers that are not necessarily your customers but have direct communication with your target audience.
Create a PR strategy (coming from your goals)
Now that you already have your goals and you’ve defined your audience, it’s time to determine what actions you’d like to take to address those two elements mentioned above. Should you use press releases, partner up with influencers, or participate in community and industry events? Based on your goals
Determine Your PR Distribution Channel
Communication is not just a two-way street. It’s a jungle of multiple lanes and crossroads. Determining your audience’s preferred communication channel may save you time and provide you with an advantage in getting closer to their radar. These may be via email, social media, TV, or news and consumer through mobile devices, laptops, or desktops.
Understanding where your audience is hanging it’s the ultimate hack to help them find your product, and ultimately acquire them as users. When people read or hear about you on other websites, the effect is double and more persistent as if they were hearing from you directly, that’s why making some link building remains important.
Create a Timeline
An editorial calendar comes in handy in organizing your PR strategies. Timing is also a key element in PR, so making sure that your strategies are implemented according to schedule is critical. Make sure to include in your schedule your audience, the distribution channel, and your content format.
Set a Budget
The budget here not just pertains to financials but also other costs such as time and energy. When executing a strategy and putting that in a timeline, you need to ask the following questions:
- How long should this be running?
- Who will be involved in this process?
- How many hours per week do we want to give for pitching? Hint: You can optimize journalist pitching by using solutions like HeadcomAI.
- How many influencers/brands/personalities do I want to connect with on social media?
Determine how you’ll measure success
As you run along with your PR plan, it’s essential to define how you will gauge your success? How will you be able to say that you’ve achieved what you wanted to in the first place? Defining your metrics or KPIs will help you assess your PR plan. Some examples may include:
- Brand mentions (social media, blogs, etc.)
- Media coverage
- Media reach, impressions
- Influencer engagement
- Brand sentiment, tone
Use data to review your plan regularly.
Temperature checking is a must when executing a plan to know if you’re directing your time and efforts in the right way. Some teams do a monthly or quarterly review to see what has been achieved and done so far. This way, if there are setbacks, new ideas can come in on how to move forward. If it’s the opposite, then it’s good to know that milestones had been hit along the way.
The list of ways to do PR these days is extended. Along with it comes changes in tools being used for media reach, channels, and outcomes. However, this does not mean that the job of doing PR has been less of a challenge.
Fortunately, though, you can still go with your PR outreach with these few tips below:
Experiment with different formats
There’s more than one way to pitch a story, and sometimes it’s not just about words. It’s the traditional way of doing a PR outreach. Still, a video can provide a quick, more compelling, and visually appealing way of giving one a summary of all the needed information. Don’t be afraid to experience another content format. When done right, this might grab a journalist’s attention right away.
Personalize Your Pitch
PR is all about building relationships, and there’s one-size-fits-all. The approach must be personal, or else you’ll end up sounding spammy. With the hundreds of pitches journalists or a media person receives in a day, it takes that unique approach to differentiate yourself from the thousands of others with their templated paragraphs.
Have a PR outreach plan
Pitching your ideas to just within your circle of friends isn’t going to get a fat chance of gaining wider exposure. When you know the story you want to tell the world, plan out the activities you’d have to do and implement to find the right relationships to give you the creditable coverage you need.
3 Ways to Connect with PR
Here are some ways on how you can connect and establish a connection with the media:
1. Sign up as Source
There are a handful of platforms whose services focus on connecting reporters with sources. One popular platform is HARO (Help A Reporter Out), but others are also available, like Source Bottle and ProfNet. When you sign up on these platforms, you become a source, and you can send your pitch to reporters, connect with them, and build valuable relationships. It’s a win-win situation for both as reporters get the information they’ll need and sources get credible media coverage.
2. Network and Broadcast Yourself in Social Media
Connecting with social media is not a new thing. It’s the primary purpose of these channels. In LinkedIn, for example, you can follow journalists and see what projects they’re working on and how you’d be able to help them with it. On the other side of the spectrum, social media is also suitable for your branding. If you have an experience you can instantly share or have a story to tell, it’s a platform that can give your exposure.
3. Write a Good and Optimized Press Release
A well-crafted press release helps you connect with the media, but an optimized press release allows you to be noticeable to search engines. This can help you become visible in online searches, adding to your credibility and online marketing efforts.
What is PR strategy and tactic?
A strategy involves actions on how you’d want to achieve your goals. If your goal is to compel relevant influencers to share your product, one of the strategies for that would be to implement a celebrity endorsement program. Meanwhile, tactics are the activities that you will do to materialize those strategies. In the previous example, your tactics can be sending out giveaways and coordinating discount codes with influencers/celebrities.
How do you create a PR strategy?
Creating a PR strategy is like creating your entire PR plan. It has the same elements from your goals to your measures of success. To be specific, here is a summary:
- Define your goals
- Know your target audience
- Craft your timeline
- Create your key messages
- Identify and Implement your tactics
- Measure your results
Why do you need a PR strategy?
Earned media, or PR, can significantly drive more website traffic, organic promotion for your brand, and most importantly, provide you with more ways to engage and connect with your target audience. Media coverage is a big deal because it’s seen as a credible persona, thus creating positive awareness for your brand.