New Year, New Goals – 4 Steps to Develop a Strategic PR plan

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As 2014 comes to an end, people typically use this time to establish new goals and resolutions they want to accomplish in the coming year. The end of the year is also an ideal time to take a good look at your business and determine if your current PR strategies are working or if it’s time for some big changes.

A strong PR plan can help increase awareness for your business and set you apart from the competition. So after taking stock of your current situation and determining some fine-tuning needs to take place, why not follow suit with the thousands of people making New Year’s resolutions and make one of your own to develop and execute a PR plan that will yield positive results for your business?

If you’re ready to start the New Year off with a bang, follow our four steps below that outline how to develop a strategic PR plan.

Identify your company’s goals

Just like a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking or start a workout program, determining what you want to accomplish with your PR plan is key. Whether you want to attract more customers or improve brand recognition, it is important to determine what will be achieved after your plan has been implemented. When establishing your goals, remember to keep them strategic, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely (S.M.A.R.T.), and limit them to no more than five.

Determine your target audiences

Who are you trying to reach, and what do you want to communicate to them? Determining your key audiences is an essential part of the process that will shape your plan and set it up for success. Partner with key leadership and company stakeholders as needed to gain their insights and identify which audiences are the most important to reach.

Choose your tactics and channels

Next, you’ll need to determine your tactics and which channels you’ll use to communicate to your target audiences. Figure out the most effective tactics to reach your audiences and which channels they engage with most. There are many effective ways to get your message out there – including social media and online marketing – so take the time to consider all possibilities, even those tactics/channels your company may have traditionally stayed away from in the past. It’s a new year, and the perfect time to shake things up a bit!

Establish how your plan will be measured

As you are developing your plan, think about how you will measure it and what success will look like. How will you communicate and present the results of your PR plan’s measurements to senior leadership? Every effective strategic PR plan will have a method in place to determine its success, so choose your metrics wisely.

If you’re hoping to make a big PR splash in 2015, the time to start planning is now. Keep in mind that many media outlets have long lead times, which means you don’t want to wait until January 1 to start sending out your pitches if you’re hoping to get some placements right away. However, by developing and finalizing a strategic PR plan now, you’ll be ahead of the game and your business will be better positioned for PR success in the coming year – and beyond!