Any PR professional will tell you it’s crucial to have a public relations plan before embarking on any type of campaign.
Ideally, depending on budget, the plan should involve research, programming, action steps and of course evaluation.
Yet, how many times have PR pros heard business owners bellow out, “Hey, PR guy, no one knows the kind of work we do around here. Can you get us into the papers? We sure can use some exposure.”
If that’s the only thing the client wants than not only is the business owner in trouble but so are you, the PR professional.
Nearly all heads of organizations,whether they be publicly owned, privately held or a non-profit, spend weeks and even months working on long-term plans and objectives for their business.
They meet with accountants, lawyers and others to determine what kind of staffing,dollars and resources it will take to achieve their two-year, five-year and even ten-year goals.
The same should be true for a public relations campaign.
The campaign should include a goal, the identification of target audiences, objectives, channels and technologies to reach those audiences, and finally some type of measurement and evaluation to ensure the campaign is successful.
In some campaigns media relations may not even be a part of the mix. Perhaps special events, direct mailings, and speaking engagements can provide the desired result.
A different campaign might call for a different approach using emails, blogs, chat rooms etc.
In an ideal world the PR pro should be given the resources necessary to communicate with the business owner, sales managers, marketing personnel, down line staff and customers to get a real feel for what the actual PR goal should be.
Business owners and PR professionals need to take the proper time and work through the proper strategies to ensure the success of any public relations campaign.
As someone once said, “If you don’t have a plan to succeed, you surely have a plan for failure.