The importance of developing a strong public relations strategy is probably something you’ve heard a lot, but what exactly is a PR strategy, how does it work and why is it important?
A PR strategy is essentially a plan of action to ensure your campaigns are well coordinated and delivered on time to ensure maximum impact for your brand. As an agency, we believe that a strategic plan can be the difference between make or break and is something you want to get right.
There are a lot of elements and steps involved in executing an effective PR campaign, from writing press releases, securing imagery and pitching it to the right journalists in time for the correct issue. It is the strategy which helps coordinate this to make sure everything runs smoothly.
At Sunny Bird PR, we create strategies for all our clients to ensure your brand or business is appearing in the press and is seen by your target audience year-round.
Here are our six steps to a fool-proof strategy:
Outline your objectives
First and foremost, outline your objectives. What do you want to be achieving through PR? Do you want to drive website traffic, increase sales or boost awareness? It’s important to make your objectives specific and measurable so you can tailor your campaign towards achieving them and monitor when they’ve been achieved. It is these objectives which will define the tools and tactics needed to implement your PR plan.
Define your target audience
Identifying your target audience is crucial if you want to be positioning your brand in front of them. Who do you want to be discovering your brand, product or service? What media do they consume, where do they spend their time and who do they talk to? Understanding who you are communicating with is crucial as it means your tactics can be targeted to resonate with a specific audience.
Research the media
This part is absolutely key. Once you’ve identified your target audience and what publications they read or websites they visit, devour that media! Find out who the journalists are, what they are writing about and identify any space where your brand might fit. This activity will help you start thinking creatively about how to position your brand to certain publications and what key messages will be most important.
Decide on tactics
Next up, you need to determine which tactics will best achieve your PR goals. For example, if you’re a fashion brand, you might want to sell more clothes by having your latest collection featured in a plethora of women’s magazines or you might want to make your tech start-up more appealing to investors by commenting on a topical debate.
There are endless tactics at our disposal depending on the objective ranging from distributing a press release to social media campaigns and organising events. Having established your goal and target audience it will be easier to assess which tactics will be the most effective in conveying your brand messages to them.
Leave yourself enough time
Now it’s time to start implementing a timeframe. This timeline can take any format you choose so long as it works for you, be it an excel flow chart or your everyday diary. This involves thinking strategically about time. Break down projects into smaller achievable tasks, decide who will do them and when by. By allocating time to tasks, you can organise your time and realistically evaluate how much time you want to dedicate to PR each month and what can be achieved in that time.
It’s also very important to consider deadlines for publications. Magazines and newspapers will have very different deadlines depending whether they are published monthly, weekly or daily. It’s imperative to identify what titles you are approaching and when they will need the information by. Generally, we advise six months in advance for the monthly titles, meaning if you would like your product appearing in December Christmas gift guides, you need to be reaching out to journalists in July.
Remember, your timing strategy can be as detailed or as vague as you like, but the important thing is it’s achievable, no deadlines are missed and it keeps you accountable week-on-week.
Set KPIs to measure results
Finally, we recommend setting yourself some targets or ‘Key Performance Indicators’ to give you something to aim for and measure the output of all your hard work. At Sunny Bird PR we set ourselves KPIs to achieve for every activity, whether that’s increasing Instagram followers or placing a certain number of articles in the national press.
Monitoring success can help you work out what tactics have been successful and what to try next time. A solid strategy will help you better understand your target audience, communicate your key messaging and most importantly grow your business!