03 Jun Are your PR Plans Clear for Takeoff?
As some of you may know, one of my passions is flying my own plane in the beautiful skies of the Pacific Northwest. The ocean, the mountains, the lush valleys and the high desert provide some beautiful vistas for the 100 mph private pilot in his Cessna Aerobat. What I enjoy the most is the freedom that flying in uncongested airspace offers. But enjoying this freedom doesn’t allow for complacency. Advance planning and vigilance throughout the flight is required to produce the desired results with safety.
Launching a successful public relations campaign is like that. We all want to enjoy the fruits of a positive boost to awareness in the marketplace, but without proper planning there’s an element of risk that things can go wrong, or the desired results won’t be accomplished. Just as a flight plan lists a destination, it’s important to consider your goals in formulating a PR plan. And planning the route of flight, in the case of a PR launch, involves the following steps:
- Identifying your audience and those that influence them, and crafting a list – planning how to disseminate your information to reach your audience in the most effective way
- Preparing the info to release, organized in a manner that is clear and makes the most compelling argument at the beginning, and positions the offering with regard to the market and the competition
- Preparing backup info to support your message, which can include product documentation that conveys the facts, and whitepaper content that describes market dynamics and how your product or service fulfills the need better than alternatives.
- Training for the members of your team with regard to how to position the news and respond to inquiries.
But plans can change. Pilots need to be aware of the factors that affect a successful flight. If the situation dictates that they need to divert to a different airport for landing, they’re always ready to do so. The same should apply to a PR plan. As you talk to magazine editors, listen for their feedback and be prepared to respond to his or her needs. As you try out your message with customers, be sensitive to what messages resonate with them and be prepared to reinforce them — or give some thought to modifying messages that don’t. Make your PR plans living entities and you’ll maximize your success.