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Public Relations Plan Methodology & Tool-Kit
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Public Relations Plan Methodology & Tool-Kit

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Building a Results-Oriented Public Relations Program is a 32-page PDF methodology and tool-kit of 16 premium tools & templates to help you develop a comprehensive public relations strategy & plan.......

Building a Results-Oriented Public Relations Program is a 32-page PDF methodology and tool-kit of 16 premium tools & templates to help you develop a comprehensive public relations strategy & plan.

Demand Metric methodologies are step-by-step guides that help you build strategic processes using "Best Practices" and other Demand Metric tools & templates. Learn more about our methodologies by reading the blog post: Much Ado About Methodologies.

For more info on this particular methodology, read our blog post: Building a Results-Oriented Public Relations Program or view our interactive Webinar: Building a PR Program

Stages of this methodology include:

Objectives
Assessment
Audience Understanding
Craft Key Messages
Asset Inventory
Budget & Measurement


There are 16 premium tools & templates linked inside of this methodology to faciliate the process:

Public Relations Agency RFP
Public Relations Budget Template
Public Relations Calendar 2012
Public Relations Metrics Dashboard
Public Relations Strategy Scorecard
PR Agency Selection Tool
Press Kit Checklist
Press Release Template
Competitive Analysis Tool
Customer Profile Template
Positioning Statement Worksheet
Media Relations and PR Audit
Editorial Calendar Template
Media Specialist Job Description
Message Mapping Tool
Competitive PR and Advertising Analysis

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  • 1. Building a Results-Oriented 01 Executive Summary 01 Objectives Public Relations Program: 02 Situation Analysis 02 Assessment 03 Planning a proven approach and premium tool-kit 03 Audience Understanding 04 Administration 04 Craft Key Messages 05 Measurement Follow this simple, step-by-step, methodology 06 BudgetInventory 05 Asset 06 Budget & Measurement to develop a public relations strategy and program that drives measurable results.© 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 2. What is the purpose of this methodology? To create and sustain a Public Relations (PR) program that produces measurable results. This methodology provides a blueprint for building a PR program that: » Defines specific goals and objectives » Identifies the target audiences and key messages for them » Determines PR metrics and provides measurement frameworks The PR function is often managed as part of the marketing department and funded through the marketing budget. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 3. How to use this consulting methodology:This methodology consists of five stages, each with a description, steps and action items. Action itemsinclude using our premium tools & templates. Our intention with this methodology is to help you: 1. Understand each step in the public relations process very clearly with specific instructions and tools. 2. Adapt these proven “best practices” to your organization, with limited need for an outside consultant. 3. Complete planning and tracking activities faster than starting from scratch without any guidance.If you would like personal assistance implementing this methodology, contact Demand Metric to schedule a workshop with anexperienced Analyst: email us at info@demandmetric.com or call us on (866) 947-7744. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 4. Scope of the Public Relations FunctionThe full scope of the PR function is quite broad and includes: Media Relations – the primary focus of most PR programs. Investor Relations – for publicly traded companies. Often managed separately from PR. Community Relations – focused on aligning corporate responsibility with your brand.The focus of this methodology is on helping you establish an effective “Media Relations” process. Thismethodology may use the terms Public Relations and Media Relations interchangeably. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 5. Outputs from this Planning Process:Stage 01 – Public Relations Strategy ScorecardStage 02 – Media Relations and PR Audit, PR Agency RFP and PR Agency Selection ToolStage 03 – Customer Profiles, Media Contacts Database and Editorial Calendar OpportunitiesStage 04 – Positioning Statement, Message Map, PR Calendar and Press Release TemplateStage 05 – Press KitStage 06 – Public Relations Budget and Public Relations Metrics Dashboard © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 6. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesObjectives 02 Assessment 05 Asset Inventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTAGE 01 – ESTABLISH PR OBJECTIVESThe purpose of a PR program is to help your organization achieve its business objectives. For this reason, your PR programshould have specific, measurable objectives of its own. To embark on some PR initiative just because it seems like a good ideais to risk lack of understanding among management, which could undermine support for the program.As you develop your program’s objectives, make sure they meet the following criteria:  Relevant – they have real meaning and applicability to your business and its objectives.  Realistic – they are attainable.  Measurable – they are quantifiable. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 7. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesObjectives 02 Assessment 05 Asset Inventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 1 – Set Your PR ObjectivesSet objectives by asking key questions such as: what business goal is management trying to achieve? Objectives are the endgame of your efforts to influence your target audience to know, think or feel a certain way or do a certain thing.Once you’ve identified these objectives, express them using the following frame work:Outputs – these are measures of work, such as issuing a press release or receiving a media placement.Outtakes – the understanding and ideally retention of the messages: did the right people pay attention and accept them?Outcomes – the “action” step: the result of the PR effort on attitudes, opinions and behaviors, where ROI is achieved.Outgrowths – the “halo” effect or beneficial, unintended consequences on reputation, relationships, etc. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 8. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesObjectives 02 Assessment 05 Asset Inventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 1 – Set Your PR Objectives (continued)Write specific PR objectives, stating them in a way that is relevant, realistic and measurable. Here are some examples:Output-Oriented Objective:“In conjunction with the new product launch, generate 250,000 impressions via placements in online media,technology blogs and national trade publications within three months of the product announcement date.”Outtake-oriented objective:“Convince 35% of prospective customers that the key differentiating feature in our new product is a ‘must-have’feature for products in our market space.” © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 9. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesObjectives 02 Assessment 05 Asset Inventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 1 – Set Your PR Objectives (continued)Write specific PR objectives, stating them in a way that is relevant, realistic and measurable. Here are some examples:Outcome-Oriented Objective:“Trigger 10,000 downloads of the free trial version of our new software product within three months of launch. ”Outgrowth-oriented objective:Because Outgrowth results are unintended, it is difficult if not impossible to set objectives for them in advance. However,when they do occur, track and report them. Examples of Outgrowth results include partnership opportunities or mergerdiscussions. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 10. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesObjectives 02 Assessment 05 Asset Inventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 1 – Set Your PR Objectives (continued) Action Item – Use our “Public Relations Strategy Scorecard” to document your objectives, initiatives, metrics and timeframes to achieve your goals. This concise plan is great to show senior managers. Common themes for PR objectives may include: » Increase Influence with Key Media Sources » Formalize Public Relations Strategy Plan » Produce Results from Public Relations Activities Download © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 11. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesAssessment 02 Assessment 05 Asset Inventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTAGE 02 – INTERNAL SELF-ASSESSMENTWith objectives established, you should now assess your organization’s ability to achieve them by assessing your currentstate of Public Relations readiness across each of these process categories:Media awarenessPositioningInternal supportExpertiseProcessRelationships © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 12. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesAssessment 02 Assessment 05 Asset Inventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 1 – Audit Your State of PR Readiness Action Item – Use our “Media Relations and PR Audit” to assess your existing program and identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for immediate improvement. Areas the audit will address include: 1. Media Awareness 4. Internal Expertise 2. Positioning 5. Process 3. Internal Support for PR 6. Relationships Download © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 13. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesAssessment 02 Assessment 05 Asset Inventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 2 – Prioritize Areas for Improvement Action Item – Document an action plan to address deficiencies the assessment identifies: Key Challenges Impact Potential Solutions No relationships with media High Purchase a subscription to a PR database Minimal in-house expertise Med Hire an experienced Media Relations consultant Metrics are not defined Med Agree on key metrics and tracking mechanisms © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 14. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesAssessment 02 Assessment 05 Asset Inventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 3 – Allocate Resource with PR ExpertiseAction Item - Acquire the expertise you need to run a successful PR program.Many companies starting up their PR program lack the in-house expertise to do so. Because of the highly visible nature of PR,it is not recommended that someone learn PR skills and protocols “on-the-job”. Following are a few options:1. Hire a Qualified PR Professional – use the Media Specialist Job Description template.2. Contract with a Qualified Freelance Professional – an ideal approach for small-medium businesses starting out.3. Enter a Relationship with an Agency – best suited for medium-large companies where PR is a strategic initiative. Use thePR Agency RFP Template and PR Agency Selection Tool to help find the ideal agency. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 15. 01 Executive Summary 04 Craft Key MessagesAudience 02 Situation Analysis 05 Asset InventoryUnderstanding 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTAGE 03 – UNDERSTAND YOUR AUDIENCEThere are two audiences you must study and understand to have PR success:  The audience (market segment) to whom your products and solutions are targeted – your buyers.  The media that reach this audience with their content. Traditionally, a PR program focused only on members of the media (earned media). In this era of channels for self- publishing content, such as blogs or social media, companies own channels (owned media) which directly reach their target audience. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 16. 01 Executive Summary 04 Craft Key MessagesAudience 02 Situation Analysis 05 Asset InventoryUnderstanding 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 1 – Define Your Target Audience Profiles Action Item – Use our “Customer Profile Template” to create fictional personas or profiles for the key audiences you intend to target with your communications and PR efforts. What are the typical profiles that need to be created? 1. End Users – what are they looking for in a product? 1. Economic Buyers – how can you prove ROI? Download 2. Technical Evaluators – what assurances do they need? © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 17. 01 Executive Summary 04 Craft Key MessagesAudience 02 Situation Analysis 05 Asset InventoryUnderstanding 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 2 – Listen to Target Audience Conversations Action Item – Monitor traditional media and social media to understand what is being said about you. This may include online conversations or stories about your: » Company » Products » Competitors » Market space A social media monitoring tool can ensure you’re catching everything of importance that is said online. Google Alerts is a free option that is easy to set up and help you start your monitoring process. You will use the intelligence you gather to help you craft relevant, intelligent messages during Stage 04. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 18. 01 Executive Summary 04 Craft Key MessagesAudience 02 Situation Analysis 05 Asset InventoryUnderstanding 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 3 – Create a Database of Media Contacts Action Item – Identify media channels and specific members of the media that publish content for your target audience and use the “Editorial Calendar Template” to maintain a database of media contacts. How can you simplify the process of building relationships with media contacts? 1. Sign up for a subscription to an external media database. 1. Study published content from media sources to learn their editorial focus. Download 2. Identify the specific journalists that cover stories for your target audience. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 19. 01 Executive Summary 04 Craft Key MessagesAudience 02 Situation Analysis 05 Asset InventoryUnderstanding 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 4 – Identify Editorial Calendar Opportunities Action Item – Review editorial calendars to learn when relevant stories are planned for publication. Use the “Editorial Calendar Template” track these opportunities and their associated important deadlines. What needs to be tracked in the Editorial Calendar Template? » Publication Name » Publication Date » Content Type » Owner » Title » Editor » Importance » Writer Download » Deadline » Status © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 20. 01 Executive Summary 04 Craft Key MessagesCraft 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMessages 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTAGE 04 – CRAFT YOUR KEY MESSAGESBefore you initiate any communication with the media, determine what you need to say to them. You should identify a fewprimary messages that you’ll infuse into all your external communications. These messages will:  Create impact through consistency - repeatedly emitting news and communications that contain these messages will help your target audience fully understand your value proposition.  Reinforce your market position - your key messages will help your target audience know when and why they should choose you.You will probably want to define key messages at both the company level and product level. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 21. 01 Executive Summary 04 Craft Key MessagesCraft 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMessages 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 1 – Define Your Positioning Statement Action Item – Use the “Positioning Statement Worksheet” to define a positioning statement that describes your product, defines its differentiation and how you will create value for customers. What does strong positioning do for you? » Helps your market see how your product is different from competitors – generating prospects becomes easier as a result. » Without strong positioning, it takes much more time & money to show Download prospects why they should buy from you – this forces you to compete on the basis of price, which is not sustainable. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 22. 01 Executive Summary 04 Craft Key MessagesCraft 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMessages 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 2 – Draft & Prioritize Key Messages Action Item – Use the “Message Mapping Tool” to document the key messages that are important for your target audience to hear about your company or its products. What is a message map? » Message maps provide a method for brainstorming and prioritizing potential message based on their credibility, effectiveness and resonance. » Once you have analyzed the relative strengths and weaknesses of each Download message a bubble chart message map is automatically generated. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 23. 01 Executive Summary 04 Craft Key MessagesCraft 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMessages 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 3 – Schedule & Prepare Communications Action Item – Use the “Public Relations Calendar 2012” to track activities, timing, type of communication and channel through which you should emit it. After the scheduling, it’s all about execution! The communications you could prepare may include topics such as: » New product announcements » Partnerships » Key sales, sales milestones or customer case studies » Events Download Anything that represents valid news is appropriate. Ensure that each communication properly reflects the key messages you identified. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 24. 01 Executive Summary 04 Craft Key MessagesCraft 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMessages 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 4 – Standardize Press Release Formatting Action Item – Use the “Press Release Template” to ensure you are preparing your releases in a format the media expects as many of the communications you emit will go out in this form. Properly formatted Press Releases should have the following structure: »Headline »Contact Information »Date Line »Lead Sentence – summary of release Download »About Company © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 25. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesAsset 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryInventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTAGE 05 – INVENTORY YOUR PR ASSETSTake inventory of the content assets that might help you achieve the objectives of your PR program. These assets include:  Internal subject matter experts that can serve as spokespersons  Satisfied customers that will provide references or speak to the media  White papers, case studies, survey results, other research  Product marketing literature or other sales collateral  Press releases and other corporate communications  Clippings from any previous media exposure  Outdated Press Kits if they exist © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 26. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesAsset 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryInventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 1 – Develop or Update Your Press Kit Action Item – Use our “Press Kit Checklist” to assemble an up-to-date Press Kit. Be sure to create both high quality printed and online versions. What are the some of the key elements of a Press Kit? » Previously issued press releases » White Papers » Corporate Backgrounder » Relevant photos and graphics » Product marketing brochures » Reprints of past media coverage » Customer Case Studies » Key statistics & corporate facts Download © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 27. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesAsset 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryInventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 2 – Create a Directory of Experts Action Item – Identify all subject matter experts, in or outside of your company, that will speak to the media on your behalf. Maintain a directory of their contact information and their areas of expertise. To build and manage your directory of experts: » Let them know why you’re adding them to the directory. Create the expectation of possible future media contact. » Include bios of your experts in your directory so you can easily send them to the media. Include portraits of your experts. » Media requests are always urgent. Coach your experts to respond quickly to media inquiries. » Keep you directory current. Update it often as experts come and go. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 28. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesAsset 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryInventory 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 3 – Complete Media Coaching Action Item – Train everyone in the company, from the Receptionist to the CEO, on what to do when the media calls or just shows up. Effectively handling media inquiries: » Make sure all staff know who the company’s designated media representatives are and immediately direct inquiries there. » Ensure the media contacts know they are always on call to respond to media inquiries. Availability is critical. » Help all staff to understand that anything they say to a member of the media is considered “on the record”. » Provide media coaching to your internal media representatives and subject matter experts. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 29. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesBudget & 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMeasurement 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTAGE 06 – BUDGET & MEASUREMENTNow that your PR program plan is drafted, you’ll now need to estimate the costs to implement it as well as determine how tomeasure the results. It is important to track your competitors as well as your own media coverage to see who is influencingthe market space, and what messages and market positions are being established.Traditionally, many organizations have used the metric of “Ad Value Equivalency” to measure the effectiveness of their PRprogram. While this method can provide a rough indicator of success it has many limitations. Demand Metric advises clientsto abandon this method and opt for more modern tracking mechanisms that include the tone and overall impact of theplacement. Nevertheless, we have clients who continue to use this method so we have included this as an optional step. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 30. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesBudget & 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMeasurement 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 1 – Develop Your Public Relations Budget Action Item – Use our “Public Relations Budget Template” to detail the expected costs for your program and get approval for funding. Common PR program expenses include: » Agency fees » Wire distribution fees » Press kit materials costs » Travel costs (if you plan press tours or to meet the media at events) Download » Media database subscription » Social media monitoring solution costs © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 31. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesBudget & 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMeasurement 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 2 – Build Your PR Program Dashboard Action Item – Use our “Public Relations Metrics Dashboard” to track and report on your PR results. Your PR measurement metrics should link directly to the “objectives” you identified during Stage 1. Common PR program metrics include: » Media placements – coverage in various media channels. » Communications – news emissions: press release, blog, social media, etc. » Web analytics – traffic from links in PR content » Social media traction – “Likes”, re-tweets, wall postings, etc. Download » Relationships – how often you’re contacted as a source for a story, etc. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 32. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesBudget & 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMeasurement 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 3 – Track Ad Value Equivalency* (optional) Action Item – Use our “Competitive PR and Advertising Analysis” to track your PR and advertising programs, and those of your top competitors, to determine Ad Spend to Ad Value Equivalency ratios. What is Ad Value Equivalency (AVE)? » This is a metric that measures what your editorial coverage would have cost if it were advertising space or time. Download * Demand Metric does not endorse this measurement method. A major issue with it is that stories can be positive or negative. View the Institute of PR’s official position on this metric here: http://bit.ly/hcWi4f © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 33. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesBudget & 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMeasurement 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 4 – Measure & track cost per impression As an alternative to Ad Equivalency Value, measure and track the cost per impression. While impressions are truly only impressions if someone sees a media placement, the metric is still valid. Components: Cost: the total cost of producing the media placement. Impressions: the total number of potential or actual impressions from a media placement, e.g. a newspaper with a circulation of 750,000 offers that same number of potential impressions. Cost = Cost per Impression Impressions © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  • 34. 01 Objectives 04 Craft Key MessagesBudget & 02 Assessment 05 Asset InventoryMeasurement 03 Audience Understanding 06 Budget & MeasurementSTEP 5 – Reporting Action Item – Provide regular reports to stakeholders on the results of your PR program. Summarize the metrics you put in place during Step 2 of this Stage in an easy-to-understand report. Keep stakeholders informed about: » Key metrics » Prominent media placements or mentions » Pending stories Don’t surprise stakeholders with negative media coverage. If you know it is coming, alert them in advance. © 2011 Demand Metric Research Corporation. All Rights Reserved.