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.

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Public Relations Planning in a Dynamic Marketplace

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