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Public Relations Planning in a Dynamic Marketplace
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Public Relations Planning in a Dynamic Marketplace

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Presented at the Illinois Technology Association Marketing Roundtable. Designed for intermediate level PR and marketing people.

Presented at the Illinois Technology Association Marketing Roundtable. Designed for intermediate level PR and marketing people.

Published in Business , Technology
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  • 1. Contemporary Public Relations Developing a Strategic Communications Plan in a Dynamic Marketplace
  • 2. Agenda
    • Brief Ruder Finn background
    • What does PR mean to you?
    • Developing a strategic plan
    • An offer
    • Q&A
  • 3. Ruder Finn Background
    • Global full service agency with 15 offices world wide
    • 60+ years of promoting emerging companies and some of the world’s premier brands
    • Privately held, family owned company known as “The World’s Largest Boutique PR Firm”
    • Global Practice Areas
      • Health & Wellness
      • Corporate & Public Trust
      • Life+Style
      • Global Connectivity
    • Chicago office deep in Technology and Consumer Marketing
  • 4. Relevant Client Experience
  • 5. What does public relations mean to you?
  • 6.
    • Brand Positioning/Re-positioning
    • New Product/Brand Launches
    • Product/Service Repositioning
    • Media and Industry Analyst Relations
    • Editor Desksides/Media Tours
    • Writing – Bylines, White Papers, Press Releases
    • Online Press Kit Development
    • Executive Positioning and Thought Leadership
    • Issues/Crisis Management
    • Community Relations
    • Ethnic/Urban Marketing
    • Government Relations
    • Internal Communications
    • Contest and Sweepstakes
    • Publicity Driven Promotions and Events
    • Sponsorships, Partnerships and Cross-Promotions
    • Viral and Guerilla Marketing
    • Web 2.0/Social Media
    Typical Public Relations Program Elements
  • 7. Developing a Strategic Plan
  • 8. Targeting
    • Define the audience
    • Establish program targets
      • Media
      • Bloggers
      • Industry influencers as appropriate
        • Industry analysts
        • Academia
        • Association heads
        • Key consumers, etc.
  • 9. Benchmarking
    • Past program results
      • Research, if necessary
        • Pre-program awareness/attitude audit for target media/bloggers and the user audience
          • Typically takes the form of an emailed survey
          • Purchase a key publication subscriber list for a near apples-to-apples comparison each year
  • 10. Arming the Program
      • Define the issues and pain points relevant to your audience
      • Engage relevant internal groups for varied perspectives
    • Market & competitive research
      • Consider third party market research
    • Identify supporting points that will make the message timely
        • In context of the downturn
  • 11. Audit and Align
    • Audit sales and marketing materials and develop a situation analysis
    • Work with key sales and marketing contacts to align PR with each and connect the two
      • Messaging
      • Priorities
      • Measurement
        • Awareness?
        • Feature articles that can serve as marketing and sales tools?
        • Articles where company is positioned favorably against competition?
        • Sales lead tracking?
  • 12. Developing the Plan
    • Objectives and strategies – the importance of having consensus
    • Messaging and Positioning
      • Host half-day messaging session with key execs
      • Develop messaging presentation with goals, rationale, competitor information and examples of good messaging to ground conversation
      • Interactive activity
      • Deliverables
        • Positioning statement
        • Messaging matrix
  • 13. Basic Infrastructure
    • Prioritized media and influencer target database
    • Editorial calendar database
    • Thought leadership database (awards, speaking opportunities)
    • ProfNet and PRSourceCode
    • Corporate backgrounder for media purposes
    • Foundational media pitch
      • Customize per specific outlet/opportunity
    • Audit existing content for potential repurposing into bylined articles, case studies, blog posts, etc.
  • 14. News Releases
    • Develop a pipeline…new offerings, customer and award wins, contract extensions, upcoming speaking platforms, inclusion in strategic analyst reports, company milestones, thought leadership issues, etc.
    • Elements of a news release
      • What’s the news?
      • What’s the trend?
      • Headline, sub head
      • Lead
      • Background in descending order of importance
      • Relevant research and quotes
      • Page, page and a half when possible
      • SEO
    • A word on distribution
  • 15.  
  • 16. Media Relations
    • Daily media monitoring infrastructure
    • Proactive pitching around issues
    • Media tours around significant news
    • Case studies – organizing the effort
      • Top down commitment
      • Heads up to sales, arm them with case study primer kit
      • Assign one point person for program
      • Create grid that tracks customer interaction and level of referenceability
        • Tie in with CRM system if possible
    Case Study
  • 17. Blogger Relations
    • Same relationship development but a slightly different pitch
      • “ Listen” before you pitch
      • Engage bloggers creatively…product testing, special launches or events
      • Create some excitement by breaking significant news early to this group
        • Private companies only, of course
    • Datamation ’s List of Top 200 Tech Blogs
      • Segmented into Most Popular, Tech Publications, Security, Enterprise Tech, etc.
  • 18. Tapping the Blogosphere
    • BIG:
    • Identify and monitor relevant blogs to understand opportunities
    • Review competition’s blogs to understand how they are positioning themselves in the marketplace
    • BIGGER:
    • Pitch strategic bloggers to secure coverage and build awareness
    • Respond to relevant blog postings (and industry articles)
    • Track results
    • BIGGEST:
    • Create your own blog
      • Goal: thought leadership, less direct promotion
      • Internal editorial calendar
      • Guest blogger series (customers, partners, influencers)
      • Keys are fresh content, regular and relevant updates, pursuit of back links
    Map key influencers according to: Level of authority, Receptivity and Audience reach
  • 19. Influencer Relations
    • IT Analysts
      • Targeting
      • Bi-annual meetings
      • Maximizing contracts
      • Knowledge Capital Group
    • Academia
        • Industry association heads/other experts
  • 20. Thought Leadership
    • Executive positioning
      • Source Sheets
    • White papers and bylined articles (leveraging existing material)
    • Publicizing third party market research
    • Speaking and award opportunities
  • 21. Web 2.0/Social Media
    • Website optimization
      • SEO
      • Content syndication
      • Audio and video podcasts
    • Don’t do social media for social media’s sake
    • Social media audit
      • Goal: identify relevant social networks
      • Where is your audience spending time?
      • Look back six months – where are relevant conversations happening?
      • Engage industry analyst?
  • 22. Social Media
    • Create clear objectives and strategies
      • Get closer to your audience by building platforms that invite them to get relevant information and share ideas
        • Corporate blog
        • LinkedIn Groups (customer forum)
        • Twitter
        • Facebook Fan page
      • Bring content and tools to where conversations are already taking place
  • 23. Social Media
      • Establish YouTube Channel
      • Social leadership
        • Build a profile by identifying and tagging relevant articles, videos, images, etc., using social media tools such as Digg, del.icio.us, Twitter, etc.
    • Measure results via campaign dashboard, refine strategy
  • 24. Social Media Dashboard/Tracking Site Traffic
  • 25. Crisis Communications
    • More important than ever to be prepared, particularly if there is any trouble on the horizon
    • Long term goal: Put a comprehensive plan in place
    • Plan for the most likely scenarios first
      • Layoffs
      • Missed earnings
      • Executive bonus scrutiny
  • 26. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
    • What’s your company’s cause?
    • Organize and promote it (as appropriate) if you haven’t already
    • Do you have a take on green?
  • 27. Our offer to you
      • One-on-one consultations for interested members
      • Casy Jones, 312-329-3976, [email_address]
  • 28. Questions?