PR is all about how to communicate with the public or media. As a big name brand or corporate it is paramount that you consider PR within your strategy and business planning. As companies, PR enables you to engage with your audience to maintain a positive image and uphold your key messages in a way advertising and solely focusing on marketing would accomplish.

PR isn’t rocket science. With the right expert guidance anyone can learn to do it.

In a recent study, PR was shown to be 90% more effective than advertising. Infinitely more effective and yet PR costs just your time. Advertising can cost thousands, hundreds of thousands, even millions. In advertising we pay a media outlet to say how great our product is. By using PR other people organically share this message for you and you can start to position yourself as an expert or go-to within your niche.

If you’re new to PR and want to learn the basics first then you may find this ‘Beginner’s Guide to PR‘ helpful.

Let’s dive in!

The Brands & Corporate Guide to PR 

Discover how to create and maintain a positive image with the media and your audience and ways to explode your company’s profile. This guide has everything you need to get your PR strategy started and maintain your publicity moving forward.

Here’s what you will find in the guide;

  • how to create a solid PR strategy for your company
  • how to define and target your audience
  • ways to create content to connect with prospective buyers
  • how to craft a PR plan and set tangible goals
  • strategies for monitoring the media for opportunities
  • clarity on your messaging and branding
  • how to measure the impact of your PR activity

Part 1: The end game

Whilst media coverage is superb for your business, it’s important to keep your overall objective in mind. Whether you are looking for investors, new clients, to grow your team etc, all these are examples of why you’d be in need of media placements. When creating any sort of plan or pitching yourself, remember to keep your objective, the end game, in mind so as to keep your activity relevant and so you are getting in front of the right people (more on that later).

A Harvard study revealed people who write their goals down earn ten times more than those who don’t. Start by grabbing a workbook, paper diary planner, blank notebook, open your laptop, anything that works for you when it comes to planning and being creative.

Remind yourself of your business goals and create a wish list of publications you’d adore to be featured in. Think about the topics around your zone of genius you want to be known for and this will help kick off your strategy.

Here’s a few ideas to get your strategy started…

4 steps to setting powerful PR goals

7 goals to help your brand craft a more targeted PR strategy

Goal-setting for go-getters

Get SMART when setting PR objectives

 

Part 2: The plan itself

When you want to achieve anything in life, whether for business or pleasure, a plan helps you take the necessary steps to get you there and reach your goals. You wouldn’t set sail on a voyage in your ship without a map and some form of satellite navigation right? Well, the same principles to avoid the metaphorical stormy seas apply here.

Your plan does not need to be anything too complex but it does need a structure to ensure you can set your goals and put an action plan into place within it. You can have all your PR, content and marketing planning in one place too to keep it simple for you and/or your team.

There’s no need to make a fancy PDF or document from it. After all, it needs to be a working document you can update and amend along the way. Google Sheets is a really useful tool for this, especially if you have a team of people needing to access to it regularly.

Here’s some great tips to get your plan started…

An effective PR strategy in a nutshell

How to create a simple PR plan for your business

How to develop your public relations media plan

Writing your PR plan

Part 3: Knowing your people

Before knowing who your audience is, get clear on your zone of genius and the topics related to this. What is it you want to be known for? When a journalist calls you for your expert comment on a news story that just broke, what has happened?

Use these topics and who your ideal client is to create content that exactly fits with both. Just one teeny topic can be created into multiple blog posts, a lead magnet (free gift to grow your mailing list), Facebook Live streaming, LinkedIn pulse post, emails sharing your story, social media updates, media opportunities, quote images… the list goes on. Whatever you want to be known for, start by creating some content around that and see how your audience responds.

Here’s a few ways to start to find your audience…

How to define your target audience

How to find your target audience (and create content that connects)

3 strategies to segment your audience and personalise your efforts

6 steps to decoding your target audience

Part 4: Research and monitoring

Hitting the sweet spot between knowing what makes a good angle for a story and which media outlet to target is daunting but easily managed… through a little research. There’s nothing worse as an editor to receive completely irrelevant pitches from people who clearly have sent the same email to hundreds of people. The recipient does not feel special and will not be in any hurry to respond.

When you have defined your audience, get to know them and how they consume their media. Whether that’s through magazines, podcasts, video, newspapers, radio etc. This will help you target where you should be pitching yourself to ensure your time is well spent strategically and you know the media coverage will be seen by potential clients.

Start by creating a simple database to keep a record of everywhere you have or would love to connect with, including their website link, social media profiles and contact details of individuals who commission writers or have the authority to say yes to you being published.

If you can, keep a media calendar of awareness days, industry events etc to help plan your own content or to approach someone with your expert comment on a story you know will be featured in the near future.

Here’s a few ways to start your research…

The importance of research in public relations

How to use social media for trend research

7 strategies for monitoring the competition

Target your PR strategy by finding the right media outlet

25 sneaky online tools and gadgets to help you spy on your competitors

Part 5: Your Message

Brand messaging is really important so can communicate well with your audience and anyone who engages with your business. Get to know your clients and what they want from you. Get to know keywords and buzz words that attract them to you or the service you provide them with. Consider what makes you unique, what you do differently to others and where you add sparkle to their lives. Your branding or key messages should ooze the ethos of your company.

Here’s a few ideas to nail your messaging…

Use nostalgia to build your brand, even if you’re a start-up

Creating company values: 14 key methods and 7 inspiring stories

Align all your messaging with this simple tool

3 steps to creating your branding message

10 ways to improve your PR messaging

Part 6: Measuring your results

It’s important to consider how you will measure the result of your PR success once you start gaining media coverage. Measuring and evaluating will allow you to see if the influx of traffic to your website on one day was, for example, related to your podcast interview that went live that day.

There are many ways to track your PR results, some paid and some free. You can start by measuring your web traffic, social media engagement and any stats from press release distribution websites you used. Keep a record of all published media placements and keep any positive conversations on your radar that require follow up in the future.

Here’s a few ideas to get you started…

Why PR campaigns need measurement and evaluation

How PR professionals measure the impact of online press coverage

Stop the spin: 3 ways to measure the ROI of PR

10 ways to measure PR results

5 ways to measure the impact of a digital PR campaign