Need to put a PR strategy together and don't know where to start? This will give you a great snapshot of what you should consider
PR or campaign strategies are an essential document that should be created prior to starting any PR campaign. In this episode, I chat with Anna Stark and Tahira Matthews from Stark Matthews to discuss what clients/managers expect from a PR strategy and what you should consider when creating one.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A PR STRATEGY?
Whether you work in an agency and are creating a proposal for a new client/campaign or you work in-house and there's a new PR project you're responsible for, you need to spend timing creating a PR strategy. The purpose of a strategy is for you to display HOW you will meet the goals and objectives set out by the client/manager. You need to give them confidence you understand elements such as target market, competitors and objectives well enough to make a considered recommendation of the PR tactics required to give them the results they are after, within the time frame and budget you've been provided
“Appoint someone to be the project lead on the campaign so they can take responsibility for making sure the team is executing the elements of the strategy in a timely manner. They have to keep the budget and goals in mind at all times and have open lines of communication with their team as well as client/manager”
Listen to the full episode on The PR Pod podcast for more tips on creating PR strategies. You'll also find this episode on your fave podcast players, just search "The PR Pod".
5 SIMPLE STEPS TO CREATING A PR STRATEGY
A brief document. This is something you should be provided with by your prospective client or manager which outlines the purpose of the campaign, what the goals are, the time frame they need the goals met by and what the budget is. If you are given a verbal brief, then summarise it as a document or email and send it back to your client/manager to ensure you've understood it properly. If you've been given vague details then create a reverse brief and outline all the questions you have about time frame, budget, goals, target market, what does success look like etc and send it back to them to provide further detail on. Whatever you do, do not start creating a strategy without understanding these details in advance
Organise a brainstorm. Once you have a detailed brief, put some time in your team's diary to brainstorm how you can meet their goals. It's helpful to provide the brief in advance to your team, so they can come to the brainstorm with some ideas planned. The purpose of this brainstorm is to throw around ANY idea that could possibly work, evaluate the pros/cons of each idea and whether it will meet the goals. You could have 12 amazing ideas but the reality is the budget you've been provided will only allow you to execute two or three things. Which of those 12 ideas will give you the best results? Just keep in mind, what you think looks like success and what your client/manager does could be very different. So make sure you're meeting their brief
Flesh out the key ideas. You'll need to provide some clarity on how each idea will be executed, the time frame required, if there's any third party costs associated and an overview of what those costs will be, if so
Consider the relevance of doing further industry or competitor analysis. If you have a small client, this might not be so important to them. For others, it could be worth putting together a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. You may do a SWOT analysis for the company you're creating the brief for, to understand better how their product/offering will sit in the market. And/or for competitors, to understand what they're doing well/not so well and where the opportunities lie
Create the document. The main things you need to include are: Campaign summary/overview (to show you have understood the requirements of the brief), Goals/Objectives (often you are using the goals/objectives provided but you may want to include some additional ones), Analysis (if required, for the company/industry/competitors), Target Market (to clarify you understand exactly who this campaign is targeted at), Tactics (providing detail on what the elements of the campaign will be and how you will execute), Timeline (give an overview of when each element of the campaign will be executed and how they fit together), KPIs (stands for Key Performance Indicators - clarify what your proposed measurement of success will be for each campaign element)
WHAT KIND OF TACTICS SHOULD I BE CONSIDERING?
Here's a few to get the ideas rolling:
Media relations campaign. A core component could be securing media coverage so what hooks/angles will you use and what publications are your focus?
Events. Events are generally quite expensive to execute so you better make sure there is a measurable ROI from having one. Don't forget virtual events as well. If you want to know more about using video conferencing within PR, check out this episode
Influencer engagement. Will you benefit from having your product posted about by influencers?
Brand Ambassadors. This is a great way of driving media coverage as you have a notable and (hopefully) relevant spokesperson to create newsworthy opportunities
Surveys. A good option if you need some data behind you to build up some credible news angles
Digital campaigns. Social media falls within the scope of services of many PR agencies now so you may need to factor in a social media campaign as well
Product send-out/drop. If you have a new product, you really want media and potentially influencers/celebs/stakeholders engaging with it so think about creative ways to get your product into the right hands