29 May Do You Have A PR Plan?
Treat your PR strategy like a newsroom and outline your content calendar for next year!
1. PR Doesn’t Just “Happen”: You might have heard someone say that they just created a great product or service and then the media attention came knocking at their door. I’m not saying that NEVER happens, but you can’t expect the press to find you. Reporters are busier than ever so you need to reach out and help them find the timely story about your company that is relevant to their target audience. By treating your own PR strategy like a newsroom, you help make their jobs easier!
2. Build a Calendar: The first step to creating your 2017 strategy is to create an editorial calendar, just like the newsrooms do. Come up with 12 topics you want to talk about next year, and then pick one per month, outlining your communications calendar. In January it might have to do with the new year, perhaps in March about tax season. Maybe you’re moving into a new office in June. Topics that don’t tie into a time period are called “evergreen” stories – place those in the empty months. Use this editorial calendar to direct your blogs, newsletter, videos, and press pitches for the year.
3. Now be Brutally Honest: Newsrooms are brutally honest places. If the story isn’t timely, it gets thrown in the trash. If the story is overdone, it gets tossed out. Look at your calendar and evaluate which of those topics are newsworthy? Figure out which topics are going to be interesting to your audience and which are going to be interesting to the press. It’s okay if not all of your topics are worthy of a press pitch, but be upfront about that and turn it into a blog or newsletter instead.
Questions to ask:
- Is it TIMELY?
- Does it have a UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE?
- Does the HEADLINE grab your attention?
- Does it ALIGN with your industry/business?
4. Determine Your Audience: For the topics that you do deem worthy of media attention, don’t “plug and pray” – the PR term for sending out the same pitch to every publication you can find. Instead, create a focus for the pitch. Perhaps it appeals to a niche industry publication, perhaps a financial publication, maybe the morning show on your local TV station. Decide who you’re pitching and who the audience is so you can craft a targeted and effective pitch.
5. Put your Plan into Practice: I encourage business owners to do your own PR… you don’t need to hire an agency! BUT, that means you need to dedicate time to focus on PR each month. Try scheduling one afternoon a week to dedicate to PR. If you know that you are too busy to allocate time, allocate budget instead to hire an agency. A professional can achieve results in much less time, because we do this all day, every day.