Is your PR efficient?

Working with clients in the Public Sector (as we do here at Catherine Lane PR), ‘efficiency and effectiveness’ and the very real need to do ‘more with less’ are subjects that keep coming up.

PR should follow suit and be as effective as it’s possible to be, offering tangible benefits and value for money at a time when many organisations are strapped for either cash, time or resources.

Here are five simple rules to follow to ensure your PR is truly effective at every step of the campaign:

1. Start with SMART objectives
Put simply, you will never arrive at your desired destination if you don’t set off with a good idea of where you want to go. Every efficient PR plan will lay out a number of objectives from the get-go, and all of these should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) Getting these objectives right at the beginning will inform the strategy you employ for your campaign and help you understand the tactics and resources you will need to make progress.

2. Know your target audience
Creative, engaging PR tactics are important, but targeting the right audience is invaluable, otherwise you are just wasting your efforts. If you don’t know specifically who you are talking to, you could find you are talking to no-one!

Obviously how you define your audience will depend on the business you are in, but typically include one or more of the following: gender, age ranges, job responsibility, leisure interests, family status, purchasing power, regionality. The more you know about your audience, the better you can tailor your communication to appeal to them.

3. Have a key message
Being crystal clear on the messages you are trying to convey will pay dividends in achieving a good return on investment for your PR. No matter how basic or complex your PR requirements are, having this message written down somewhere and referring to it regularly will ensure that any activity you undertake is a step in the right direction.

4. Create a timeline
A timeline is a very under-rated tool in PR. It will cost you only the time it takes to put it together, yet can help enormously to keep up the pace of your campaign. How you organise it is up to you, just make sure it details your main planned activities for the year, cross-referenced with which objective this falls under.

5. Re-evaluate regularly
An efficient PR plan is results orientated, and therefore needs to be flexible. Things constantly change, be it unforeseen developments in your sector, changes in the media landscape, alterations to your product or additions to the services you can provide. Your PR objectives may also need to change to react to this. An easy way to remember this is to extend the SMART acronym detailed above to read SMARTER, adding Evaluate and Re-evaluate into the mix.

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  • About the Author

    After more than 10 years working in PR and media planning, providing clients with great PR and delivering tangible results still brings a smile to my face! Before joining CLPR, I worked across a variety of sectors including lifestyle and finance, and my wider experience in marketing means I understand just how PR fits into the mix. Outside of work, I play with my children, read obsessively, talk myself out of going to the gym and cook huge quantities of food for friends.

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