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Developing an Effective PR Plan

A PR plan is an essential tool to target key stakeholders and decision makers across industries. The more successful the plan, the easier it is to reach out to your target audience and the better your client can be positioned as an influential leader in its sphere of operations.

In brief, an effective PR Plan should clearly outline objectives, identify key target audiences and define the measurement tools that will be used to implement it in the most efficient manner.

Your PR plan should start by identifying goals – this needs to be undertaken prior to starting the drafting process. As soon as the goals are set, the plan itself should follow. In devising it, you should always keep in mind the big picture and your overall aim, which is to achieve the established goals. After this, your target audience needs to be identified to help you shape your message. It is vital to know what messages should be sent and when. What differentiates an effective PR practitioner from an ineffective one is the delivery of messages at the right time to the right audience.

When sending out your messages, media relations should be managed appropriately. It is important to know where your news is going. Targeted e-mails to media colleagues responsible for covering the issues in your press release is much more preferable than sending bulk emails to editors and reporters who are not concerned with the topic being circulated. This promotes your image as a purveyor of interesting news and disposes media representatives to accept your future editorials and emails. When sending your messages, it is also important to be aware of editorial calendars. This makes it easier to formulate an effective PR plan and can help in generating ideas specific to publications and events.

Your plan should be formulated with an eye to the year ahead and updated at least every three months, according to the client’s revised news and activities. Public Relations is a dynamic and ever-evolving industry, so you need to continuously review your previous plans to establish what has worked and what hasn’t, which journalists were in favour of the news circulated and which weren’t. Even the tonality of the news published can be measured to improve the gaps and weak points from a previous campaign.

An effective PR plan will give you as a PR practitioner peace of mind in your daily operations. It will help in the generation of news and the effective communication of your client’s messages. It is always important to stick to the set objectives, which will enable you to maintain your focus on the overall goals.