I am the sort of person who always likes to get a grip. I am not a fan of drifting along hoping that everything will turn out for the best. PR, however, is a ‘slow burn’ activity, building over many weeks and months with the results only apparent long after the hard work has been done. It’s a discipline where patience is definitely a virtue, if not a prerequisite! But ‘slow burn’ does not mean that the quality of the input and the results generated are not linked. PR planning is essential.
If you want your PR to be effective then you must make sure that you are doing the right things, at the right time, in the right way. So, in the lull following Christmas and before the New Year really gets going – it’s time to get a grip.
Consider your PR activity………
What is your instinctive response?
Are you enthusiastic about what was achieved in 2016 and looking forward to building on that this year?
Are you concerned that your PR is not pulling its weight in the marketing mix?
Would you describe your PR programme more as a crisis communications exercise?
Or did you just think ‘Meh’?
As you plan for 2017, here are some ideas to help you make the most of your PR review:
- Take time to consider who your stakeholders are and what you want to say to them. Do you want to impress, reassure, inform or engage them?
- Integrate your PR into all your other marketing programmes.
- Think ahead. Online media may be virtually instant, but print media have much longer lead times.
- Be ready to be flexible.
- Just repeat what you did last year. Bring fresh thinking to what you have to say. If you just recycle the same stories your audience will stop listening.
- Treat your PR programme as though it were the same as sales or advertising. PR is about communicating with your customers and stakeholders through a third party whose attention you need to capture before persuading them to relay your message.
- Take good coverage for granted. It’s a competitive world out there.