by Neil Kuvin
Hey, Public Relations expert. What’s Public Relations mean to you?
And what is your plan to convince a client to give you their precious money and their trust. Fundamentally, do your clients “get it?”
In your presentation of a marching forward plan, do they “understand” Public Relations and its inherent benefits for their visibility, brand awareness, sales and growth? If you don’t personally advise them, who do you think should? And as far as managing a plan and budget, getting closer to your client’s target audience is the goal. Generating a fully understood message from your client to their audience is the objective. This delicate relationship with your client demands open communication.
First things first. Have you vetted the client and the competitive environment in which they wrestle for customers? Until you more fully understand your client’s message, how can you establish their goal? Until you have locked onto and have literally bought into their goals and objectives, you’re not going to have the passion and conviction needed to wake up at 3:30AM thinking about how you’re going to maximize opportunities for awareness and brand. And we all know that moving product from the shelves can be a gauge by which you and your client agree on whether your contract gets renewed.
The Public Relations element you’re developing in behalf of your client, as you journey out to create a PR/marketing plan requires that you frame your messages to answer the questions, “what does this information mean to me?” “How will this affect me?” and “Do I care about this information?”
I am currently working on marketing and communications’ plans for three diverse organizations and thought you might gain something from what I learned from my mentors years ago.
Here is the outline for one client’s public relations section.
1. Executive Summary – One page overview offering enough information for the reader to understand the key points in the document.
a. Statement of problem
b. Background information
c. Conclusion – anticipated results
2. Analysis – One to three pages depending on how much information you want included. Key issues that programs will address. Good idea to provide too much info than too little.
3. Client’s background (competition, your client’s strengths & weaknesses, etc.) Show ‘em you know ‘em.
4. Challenges faced by your client / Opportunities by competition’s mistakes
5. Reason for plan creation (How do we get there from here)
6. Planning – Create a document with objectives, target audience, strategies, program & activities’ schedule:
a. Objectives - These should be in line with the overall marketing plan
b. Target Audience – Create a list of all audiences and influencers. A planned, lengthy meeting with your client will provide categories besides the assumed (media)
c. Media List – Create a list of journalist to be included
d. Strategies – In general explain the strategies you recommend to achieve objectives.
e. Programs & Activities – Editorial calendar, media kit, news releases, fact sheets, media tours, open houses, data sheets, presentations
f. Schedule & Timeline
7. Main Story Framework
a. Message & language library – Three to five key messages that tell ther story
b. Spokesperson & Training – Approved individuals capable of handling media interviews about the company, event, etc. Hold interview pre-briefings. Recommend Media Crisis Training to tune skills and create learning experiences
8. Tracking and Evaluation
a. Go slow on this one. You’ll likely be criticizing your own work.
b. Have the client provide their evaluation
c. Good tracking, especially of non-public media success, is irreplaceable, especially if you’re looking for a contract extension.
9. Developing a budget
a. A good, thorough, quality presentation of goals, objectives and tactics will provide you with a positive environment for putting acceptable dollars to the strategy.
b. “Prove it” says your client, challenging you on some tactics & media buying.
c. Your hourly budget is your product price. Don’t defend it Just quote it