One of the common mistakes companies make after hiring a PR consultant or agency is to execute a strategy with no plan.
What’s missing is – what can we do together to help build momentum and reach your company’s goals?
PR plans are roadmaps to help a team visualize targets and goals vs. the competition and market trends. Without a plan, a company is grasping at straws, trying to get press just for the sake of getting press. While that tactic may help generate share of voice, strategically the company may fall short on delivering a differentiated message that sets it apart from the competition.
A PR plan isn’t a press release
A press release isn’t a plan. It’s a tool to deliver a news message. The problem is that companies and PR professionals don’t plan and just send out press releases when pasted together look like a plan.
Start-ups either don’t plan because they’re moving too fast or don’t know how to plan. Mid-sized companies plan in Excel or deliver PPT slides which outline marketing and PR messages, strategies, and tactics. There’s no perfect way to plan.
However, without a plan, companies, no matter what size, are unable to articulate their differentiation and market position.
How to plan
Having worked with hundreds of companies, planning is subjective. Though, there are some critical aspects. If you went to business school or work for alumni, you’ve heard of an SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). Sure, this is a good way to approach the start of a plan, but not the way I would do it. Instead, I suggest taking a more organic approach.
In today’s world, you’ve got a host of online tools to use and find information on your company/client, competitors, and the market. I’m personally a big fan of doing such audits on Sysomos. Over the years I have had a lot of luck with research from Sysomos. The data gave my clients insight into what their competitors were not doing and what my clients could do (and say) to be a part of the conversation and stand out in the crowd.
So, start with that background synopsis. That should help you easily unfold how to wrap up your strategies and tactics to meet your goals.
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