How to create a PR strategy

Putting together a PR strategy requires the perfect blend of precision and creativity. Precision is required to understand the opportunity, set objectives, target the right people and measure results. Creativity is essential to ensure the message cuts through.

To organise thoughts and ideas that will form the basis of a PR strategy, start by answering some key questions:

  • What are the organisation’s objectives?
  • What are the organisation’s strengths?
  • What have you got to show and tell?
  • Who do you want to show and tell it to?
  • How can you reach those people?
  • What does success look like?

Let’s take each in turn:

What are the organisation’s objectives?

Don’t forget that PR is there to support the core mission of the business. Always return to the core when stress testing the strategy.

What are the organisation’s strengths?

We’ve written before about developing USPs. These strengths, as with core objectives, should underpin the PR strategy.

What do you have to show and tell?

According to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations, PR “is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you”. The “what you do” is often lost in the rush to tell a story. Don’t forget to show and tell, not just tell. That means thinking hard about what you do and how you do it on day-to-day basis.

Who do you want to show and tell it to?

These are the “publics” in public relations. Spend time defining key audiences and audience personas.

How can you reach those people?

In most cases, the relationship with these publics is mediated. Traditionally that has meant mass broadcast and print media, as well as niche print publications. These still matters – don’t let any digital guru tell you otherwise – but it’s not the only thing that matters. Specialist blogs and websites, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn are all legitimate paths to your audience(s).

What does success look like?

In short: define goals up front and measure those goals on an ongoing basis.

From the answers to these key questions, a strategy can be formulated. For Slack Communications’ clients, the key elements of that strategy document are likely to look something like this:

  1. Communications objectives
  2. Key messages
  3. Key audiences
  4. Target media
  5. Promotional tools/PR toolkit
  6. Campaign activity