At White Media Agency, we know that creating an effective public relations strategy for your small business’s services or product takes time and thought. There is an expansive media landscape to approach, so setting up a solid plan will save you time, money and energy. When it comes to public relations, ask yourself:

What are your goals?

Set goals for your PR activity and make them specific. For example, creating a campaign to dominate the market is a little too vague. You could rework that and determine that creating a campaign to become one of the top three in market share makes sense.

You may have heard this term before but make your goals SMART — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. If your goal is to have a product as well-known as Coca-Cola or Apple, you might not be realistic and it probably isn’t achievable. Make your goals count and be accountable to your goals!

Who do you want to target?

If your answer is “everyone” then you need to rethink your answer! Rarely is a product or service one-size-fits-all, or one that everyone wants to have. But there is a market that might desire your offerings. Who is it? Find out who your best clients or customers are and target those same people. Or find out who is being neglected and underserved in the market, and decide if it makes sound business sense to market to them. You must know who your target market is in order to craft the right message. Which brings us to…

What do you want to say?

Creating the right message is critical in your public relations strategy. It is a waste of time to execute a strategy with the wrong message. It could even hurt your brand. Do your due diligence by talking to current clients or customers, vendors, those who have stopped using your offerings, and scout out the competition. These are all great ways to determine what your unique proposition is in the marketplace. Once you know what that is, you will know what to say and how to say it!

How do you want to engage the audience?

There are many tools at your disposal in the PR arsenal including:

  • Press releases
  • Social media
  • Speaking engagements
  • Emails / e-newsletters
  • Vloggers

You need to decide which vehicle works best for your message. Create a list of all media sources so you can easily contact the right ones when needed.

How much time do you want to allot to a public relations strategy or campaign?

Create a calendar of PR outreach and try to stick to the timeline. You can start out with a three-month calendar if you are doing a short campaign but consider a 12-month calendar if your campaign is larger and more complex. Keeping a calendar of PR activities keeps you focused and on track.

How do you know it worked?

You should create a strategy that can be measured. Whether it’s measuring unique visitors to your website, how many interviews you did or how many new customers you gained, you should have a measurement you can track. So if your goal is to increase your newsletter base, obviously you will track the number of new subscribers during the PR campaign period.

Whether you’re developing a small business PR strategy or looking to enhance your personal branding, creating a public relations strategy is a worthwhile endeavor. It gives you a framework for accomplishing tasks and tracking success.