Plan Public Relations

According to, “For most businesses, the new year is a time for assessment, goal setting and strategic planning. When considering PR, this is the time to set objectives and formulate a clear, defined plan that’ll help your business achieve optimum results in the media.”

Assess Current PR Plan in Place

Review the previous year in terms of PR activity. If the business received any media attention, review the coverage with an analytical eye. Determine the angles that resulted in positive coverage. Note which journalists wrote about the company favorably. Look at the overall amount of positive, negative, or neutral coverage the company received. If the company has access to a media measurement service, look at the results of the company’s campaigns and, if possible, compare efforts against competitors.

Consider any overall business objectives and use them as a basis for developing key messaging geared towards media outlets.

Finally, review the business plan through the eyes of a journalist. Identify potential media coverage situations that could occur throughout the year. Examples are new product launches, expansions, and new service offerings. Keep a calendar which lists these events. Try to maximize events for the company in a compelling way. For example, if the company has a new line of products for winter outdoor activities, try to make sure news coverage starts in the Fall.

PR Planning Tools

Here are a few tools to help achieve the objectives of a PR plan. Media outreach in the form of pitching ideas to reporters and placing articles is still the backbone of PR. Once a list has been created, schedule time for media outreach. Contact each reporter individually to introduce them to the company and its message.

Speaking opportunities or events offer another way to garner media exposure. When planning PR activities for the coming year, research conferences, trade shows, and webinars. They make good platforms on which to place a representative from the company as a keynote speaker or a member of a panel discussion. The value in securing such engagements can be great, especially for a growing business.

Case studies are very desirable to the media because they offer tangible examples of the benefits of the company’s products or services. The challenge with this format is that they require active customer feedback, which isn’t always easy to gather.

Blogs and social media have grown exponentially in popularity as communications tools because they offer a way to have an active and ongoing discussion with a motivated audience. When considering PR strategies, don’t forget to review blogs relating to the company’s industry. If the company wants to launch its own blog, there are free formats, such as and Most companies also have a Twitter handle and a Facebook page.

Other PR avenues to take into consideration are “bylined” or contributor articles. A representative from the company could write articles that are published in industry-related magazines, newsletters, and publications, therefore potentially creating a company as an expert in its field. Other messaging platforms include YouTube or Metacafe.

Planning a PR strategy for a company now will not only help generate new ideas and opportunities for the business to grow, it’ll also give peace of mind. While PR plans should always be subject to change, planning ahead will enable the company to realize its overall goals and maintain consistency.