Newsom, Doug, and Haynes, Jim. “Writing the PR Plan: Defining Success for Your Organization.” Public Relations Tactics. Feb. 2008, pp. 16-17.
Writing a PR Plan
Planning a PR Strategy PlanSome Steps for Completing Your Plan
Include Five Main Components• What needs to be done?• How will it get done?• Who will do it?• When will it be done?• How will it be evaluated?* Some clients will want to know about cost too!
Steps for Writing a PR Plan• The following slides will walk you throughsteps you can take to write your client’s plan.Please note that you might skip some of thesesteps, add some, change the order, etc. That’sokay!
Step 1: Look at client’s missionstatement• Your PR plan needs to match the client’smission.• Start by familiarizing yourself with the valuesof the organization (and the people theorganization serves).
Step 2: Identify organization strengthsand weaknesses• Figure out what the organization does bestand what they need to do better. Be brutallyhonest (but don’t necessarily show thisinformation to your client)!• Think about ways you can leverage strengthsand minimize weaknesses.
Step 3: Analyze competitors• Find out what your client’s competitors aredoing. Look at the areas in which they exceland the areas in which they struggle.• Think about how you can propose a plan thatwill allow your client organization to set itselfapart.
Step 4: List goals• Figure out what you want your client toaccomplish.• Be clear about specific, achievable andmeasurable goals.– Note the difference between saying you want toimprove your public image and saying you want todecrease customer complaints by 25%. The secondstatement is specific and measurable. (You have todecide if it’s achievable.)
Step 4: List goals (cont.)• After you list your goals, think about thefollowing information for each one:– What can you measure?– What baseline can you measure against?– How much time do you need to accomplish thegoal?
Step 5: Come up with strategies• Once you know what goals you want toachieve, you are ready to come up withmethods for meeting them. Those methodsare strategies.• Think about the process or approach you willuse to meet each goal. That’s your strategy.
Step 6: Target your personas• You should have one persona for eachsegment of your target audience.• Your strategies need to match the personas’attitudes, values, emotions, needs, etc.• Think about how you will need to massageyour strategies for each segment.
Step 7: Write your message• Note how far into the process we are beforewe begin to write.• Now that you have a clear plan and process,you can figure out exactly what you want tosay.• This is the meat of your plan!
Step 8: Develop media strategy• Think about how you are going to get thosemessages to your audience. What type ofmedia will you use? Why?
Step 9: Create a schedule• Figure out when you need to deliver yourmessages.• Note who is going to do what task at whattime.
Step 10: Figure out a system formonitoring and measuring• You want to know if your solutions areworking.– If you created measurable goals and clearstrategies, you should find this task easy to do.• Some people prefer to do this stepimmediately after goals and strategies.
Easy, right?• Those are the basics of a PR plan.• Think about how you might pitch a plan to aclient. Remember that you will want to beclear how this plan can solve a problem orprevent a crisis.• Note that a PR plan for after a crisis occurs ispretty hard to do. You won’t have much timeto act. The PR plan needs to be in place first.
Writing the Plan• Once you’ve gone through the steps listed inthis slides, you’re ready to decide what youwant to present to the client.• Focus on what will be most persuasive andusable to them. That’s what you want tohighlight.