The development of a sound PR plan is a vital step toward improving your brand reputation and communicating key messages to prospects and other target audiences. Without a PR plan, brands often find that their efforts devolve into a string of random, disconnected tactics, rather than a coherent strategy that delivers optimal outcomes to audiences and the company itself.
But not all PR plans are created equal. At Walker Sands, we specialize in providing best-in-class public relations to brands in the B2B technology space and we know what a truly exceptional PR plan looks like. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen more than a few bad PR plan examples floating around the industry—highlighting the need for rapidly growing brands to invest time and resources in developing a plan that is right for their organizations.
PR Plan Mistakes to Avoid
The PR plan establishes a foundation for your organization’s public relations program—a coordinated, documented roadmap that enables you to achieve promotional objectives related to your brand’s reputation in the marketplace.
As you begin to develop a PR plan, either in-house or with the assistance of an experienced PR agency like Walker Sands, there are several PR plan mistakes that you’ll need to avoid.
- No Clear Goals. Effective public relations begins with defining success. So one of the first steps in creating a PR plan is to clearly identify the business goals and objectives you hope to achieve through PR campaigns and initiatives, keeping in mind that different strategies may be required to deliver specific goals.
- Overly Broad Target Audiences. In the B2B sector, good public relations avoids targeting excessively broad audiences. Instead, real value is achieved by narrowing the focus to granular market segments (e.g. industry analysts, executive decision-makers and other influencers) with messaging that addresses their most important needs and interests.
- Confusing Tactics with Strategy. Tactics and strategy are two very different things. Yet many B2B firms mistakenly confuse a string of random, uncoordinated public relations with an integrated PR strategy. A carefully crafted PR plan clarifies your efforts by identifying and coordinating specific tactics your organization will use to support the larger PR and marketing strategy.
- Lack of Integration with Sales and Marketing. Sales and marketing functions play a role in the creation and implementation of your organization’s PR plan. First-rate public relations planning supports key sales and marketing initiatives by creating added awareness about featured solutions/services and bringing new leads into the sales cycle.
- Poor Execution. It’s discouraging to see B2B firms develop strong PR strategies and campaigns that never get off the ground—and in many cases, public relations fails can be attributed to poor execution. A PR plan should provide your organization with a detailed list of release schedules, targeted media outlets and other information designed to support the timely execution of strategies and campaigns. Editorial calendars alone can go a long way toward improving the timing and delivery of key messages to specific audiences.
- No Monitoring or Measurement. A PR plan is a fluid document that adapts to changing conditions and constantly allows for improvement. Monitoring and measurement equips your organization with the information you need to intelligently modify campaigns and tactics for increased impact.
Outsourcing Your PR Plan to Walker Sands
Walker Sands is full-service public relations agency that specializes in providing PR and digital services to B2B technology brands. From a comprehensive and flawlessly executed PR plan to product launches and crisis PR, we have a proven track record of delivering exceptional results for all our clients’ PR and marketing needs.