As a small business, you might not have a dedicated public relations department. Maybe you have a part-time employee who handles the occasional issue that arises. Perhaps you outsource your public relations firm on an as-needed basis to guide you when necessary.
Creating a Successful Public Relations Plan
Regardless of your approach to public relations, it’s important to develop a plan. Doing so will make your business and brand stronger.
A solid public relations plan begins with an objective analysis of the particular situation. Are you hoping to mitigate a crisis that your business will need to navigate in the future? Do you want to better market your business? Each of these situations requires specific research, goals and approaches.
The objective of any public relations plan should be clearly spelled out. This objective is likely to arise from your brand’s goals and align with your overall mission.
Objectives that are specific, timely, measurable, achievable and relevant are more likely to be successful. Ask yourself if the public relations plan meets those objectives, will you be satisfied with the approach taken?
During the implementation stage, the techniques and strategies used should support the objectives outline in the public relations plan. Assess each before implementing them to ensure that they’ll effectively engage the audience you have in mind.
The evaluation phase should be ongoing — not benched until the end of the year. Ongoing evaluation ensures that your goals are being met in a timely manner. The ability to shift focus or tweak a strategy ensures that the plan accomplishes its desired effect.
As a business, you might have several public relations plans in place at any given time. For example, you might have one that’s ongoing in an effort to keep your brand fresh. Another plan might be implemented to address a general crisis. A third public relations plan might need to be created in order to directly mitigate any damage incurred by a specific crisis.
Regardless of why you need a public relations plan, starting with the four components above ensures that you have a solid approach to a range of issues. This helps protect your brand and increase consumer confidence.