My best friend used to own a flower shop. Every Valentine’s Day, I’d take the day off and go in and help her deal with ridiculously panicked men who had forgotten to plan their grand romantic gesture.
Declined credit cards, tempers at the boil and a lot of physical jockeying to get to the front of the line, Valentine’s Day in the flower shop was my yearly reminder of what happens when you don’t have a plan.
Not planning, of course, isn’t restricted to men in a flower shop. I get desperate calls all the time from brands that have impending launches and no plan in place.PR, they thought, would spring up around them, as if by magic. Brands, often startups, too often treat their PR planning as an afterthought.
If you are going to launch something, a product or a service, you need to know how you’re going to connect it to the influencers who can help drive new business to you. You need a PR Tactical Plan.
Here’s what your PR Tactical Plan needs to be:
Your plan needs to clearly lay out what you need to achieve, how you will achieve it and when so that everyone can be moving in the same direction.
Your plan needs to be specific to your brand or circumstance and not something generic. Your plan needs to reflect the realities of your situation and ends you hope to achieve.
Your plan needs to outline actions that fit your budget, talent pool, and time.
Your plan shouldn’t just be a list. It should help to remind people of why they’re doing what they’re doing too.
Your plan needs to try and reach for at least one thing that is just a little beyond your grasp to stretch you and inspire you to greater heights.
1. Your goals:
What outcome are you working towards? What overarching thing are you trying to achieve? PR is always about change – how do you move people from one opinion from another? How do you move people from apathy or ignorance to action? Your goal is where you define where it is you want to lead people.
2. Your objectives:
What measurable things can you accomplish that will demonstrate that you are on your way to achieving your goal?
Who are the people you need to reach in order to accomplish your objectives? Who is the end audience and who are the influencers that can help you reach them? Most marketers and PR people headline this segment “target audiences” but I push back against that. I think it dehumanizes the people you serve and the people whose help you need, leading to campaigns that forget their humanity. Good campaigns are always mindful of their humanity.
4. Key Messages:
Every campaign is about enlisting people into a new way of thinking, doing or being. And that means changing their minds about something. To do that, you need to have clearly defined messages that you want to resonate within the hearts and minds of those you need to drive to action.
What’s your big idea? What will you do to drive people to action or to have your key message resonate with them?
6. Key Tactics:
What actual things must you do to ensure you big idea will work? Your tactics must be aligned with your specific strategies. Your strategies will help you move people towards achieving your objectives, which will in turn help you accomplish your goals.
One thought about strategies and tactics – people often confuse them. Strategies are the bigger picture ideas whereas tactics help you achieve your strategy.
Of course, knowing how to create a plan doesn’t guarantee you’ll create a great plan – or execute a great campaign.
We’re going to be announcing something in the coming couple of months that will help brands and individuals engage the people they need in deeply meaningful ways. If you’d like to be among the first to know when we release our new product, drop me a line at susan (at) reimaginepr dot com and I’ll add you to the list.