In our previous post we covered Creating a Marketing Strategy that Works for you!In this post, you can read on How to draft a PR Plan. If you are a start-up or a small business owner, it is best to start thinking about Public Relations from the very beginning. While drafting a business plan, small business owners often neglect PR, which is proven to be one of the most cost-effective ways to raise awareness and market themselves to the right audience. Public relations is all about maintaining and boosting a company’s reputation and planned PR will help a business promote their products & services, launch a new product or run a business marketing campaign. A compelling PR plan can go a long way towards helping a business communicate to its present and potential audience and generate more sales. Drafting a PR plan requires strategic planning, creative thinking, and the skill to be prepared for unplanned and unforeseen circumstances. Here are steps to guide you through drafting a Public Relations plan for your small business.
- 1. Define the objectives of your public relations plan and write down at least three important messages you want to communicate to your audience through PR. The main goal of the PR campaign should be identified – whether it is building reputation among peers, generating sales, creating goodwill among customers etc. The objectives of the PR plan should be in tune with your marketing plan and overall strategy of your business. With a clear goal, objective and PR message in mind, the groundwork for the PR plan is complete.
- 2. Identify your target group for the PR campaign. Defining target groups goes beyond just identify the existing customers, it should include everyone who can benefit and contribute to your business growth. It could be anyone from a supplier, shareholders, present and potential customers, suppliers or even your employees. Record all the contact details of your target audience, this database will help you in your future PR campaigns as well.
- 3. Define your business’ USP (Unique Selling Point). It is important to chalk out the attributes of your business, which makes you unique and different from your competitors. Use your business’ positioning and mission statement along with the core message you want to communicate to draft a PR plan for your business.
- 4. Draft a realistic budget for your business’ public relations. This is an important part of drafting a PR plan, which can make or break the PR campaign. Most PR plans estimates costs, which might not be enough to sustain the whole PR campaign. It’s important to keep aside some money for unforeseen circumstances in the campaign.
- 5. Decide whether you are going to use your regular staff for the PR campaign or temporary staff to help you out in the PR activity. It’s advisable to employ somebody who has prior experience in handling such activities, it helps in streamlining the process.
- 6. Finally, put all these together and recheck the plan. Have a checklist of all the important aspects of the plan, this will help in organizing the PR activity. Public relations are fluid and last minute changes are inevitable, but if you have a basic format of a plan in place, it eases the process to a large extent.
Overall, drafting a Public Relations plan can seem like too much effort and a time-consuming task for a small business, but when it is broken down and planned systematically, it’s easily achievable. You might not get the results immediately but PR definitely helps you build a brand around your business.