Public relations has the power to build platforms of perception, influence, credibility and prominence. At its cornerstone is strategic planning, which provides a foundation for all actionable communication activities. It also establishes clear-cut goals and builds upon realistic expectations for each client to guarantee success while simultaneously increasing brand awareness.
At Dittoe PR, we firmly believe that a one-size-fits-all approach to strategic planning does not exist. They’re built on similar formats of interrelated components, but take different forms, serve specific needs and possess varied purposes. That’s why we work with each client closely to determine the best action plan to meets their business goals and objectives.
For those still skeptical on the importance of strategic planning, here are a couple of reasons why setting a PR plan makes all the difference.
Analyzes the situation.
Before assembling the plan, the team should complete an audit of the client’s needs to help craft the strategy’s foundation. This process incorporates research to understand the current marketplace landscape as well as the client’s previous PR and marketing efforts and results.
When drafting an insightful situation analysis, make sure the client’s position in the marketplace, marketing strategies and public perceptions to market conditions are clear and an analysis of stakeholder communities is included. This will help outline the various tactics when determining the best strategies to implement on behalf of the client.
Defines goals and objectives.
It’s impractical to begin activating on any PR ideas without formulating a clear strategy, so the next step is to outline SMART goals. These goals should be:
After the goals are established, consider the actions plans, ideas and objectives to help work toward these goals. These strategies should include methods of communication, key messages and other activities related to reaching your goal. This also means outlining various tactics to secure media coverage, such as newsjacking, evergreen story ideas, thought leadership campaigns and more.
Helps understand audiences.
Knowing your target audience and determining which group to communicate with is important for an effective PR plan. For instance, if your client’s core group of customers are baby boomers, there is less productivity targeting them through channels like Instagram. It would be more effective to communicate to this audience through print newspapers or television segments.
In addition, it is helpful to discuss the audience with your client as it can critically affect campaign results. If the client has multiple types of audiences, you’ll need to ensure that messaging, tactics and channels are tailored for each group to ensure the plan is executed effectively.
Reaffirms scope of work.
Scope of work is extremely important as this allows clients to understand the roles and responsibilities of the PR team. Each tactic included in the plan should reaffirm how it will be executed and who will be responsible for accomplishing this goal. In addition, this also helps define success for your client and better protects the PR team from unrealistic expectations or out-of-scope demands.
Establishes measurement and KPIs.
Successful communicators do not wait until the end of campaign to evaluate. Therefore, an approach to measurement and reporting should be set during the planning process and taken into consideration regularly throughout a campaign in order to monitor and assess.
Reporting could include media relations analysis, event management metrics, social media engagement and so much more. PR professionals should also compare a client’s coverage to competitors regularly to determine growth in overall Share of Voice.
If possible, integrate business results such as sales, engagement results and website traffic to connect communications objectives with business objectives. This allows you to evaluate and adjust as needed to keep strategies driving toward goals.
Strategic PR plans executed by professional and results-driven PR teams make all the difference. If you think your business could benefit from PR, contact Lauryn Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org or request a consultation today.