5 simple steps to creating a PR strategy by Katie Mallinson, managing director of Scriba PR

A PR strategy is like any other – a well thought out plan of action designed to achieve a long-term goal. Some groundwork is needed before you can begin to think about what to put in your first press release, and here are five simple steps to do this…

1.       Set a goal

This is the initial research stage where you decide what your end goal is, so you can measure your success later down the line. Think about conducting a SWOT analysis – listing your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

Ask yourself questions like, ‘Who do you I want to reach through PR?’, ‘How will I achieve this?’ and ‘Who are my competitors?’

2.       Think about where you want to be

Now it is the time to think big. Consider what you want to achieve, as well as how long you think it will take you to get there. This is where you can set SMART targets and objectives – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely – to meet along the way.

3.       Plan

Now you can move onto the exciting stuff. Planning out your actions in a table, week by week or month by month works for many people. It also means that you can spread out news and conversation to create a steady flow of activity, which will allow you to visually see what you are working towards.

4.       Encompass different channels

PR campaigns work best when they cover different channels and methods of communication – from traditional newspaper coverage to Twitter conversation. You can send press releases to relevant journalists, for example, whilst producing engaging photography and video for digital content. You don’t need to worry if you don’t have a huge budget either – a well-shot image on your phone can work just as well as more traditional, corporate pictures.

Consider interactive competitions and offers for social media, as well as blogs and updates for your own website. The online world is huge, but don’t forget the endless possibilities of a humble printed piece of literature too.

It is also very important to have a strong brand identity, so create a look that reflects your ambitions and make sure your online presence matches everything else.

5.       Measure your success

PR agencies work hard to demonstrate the value of any publicity gained, and you should do the same.

It may not be possible to know exactly how many people have read your article in a magazine, but you can determine whether it met your objectives. It could even be a simple social media post that created a buzz – figure out why it worked well, and how you could repeat this. You can then build this new knowledge into your strategy moving forward.

When you have your strategy mapped out, keep it somewhere everyone can see it and revise it regularly – it will always be a work in progress. Don not simply file it away and forget about it!

An Outstanding Young Communicator winner, Katie Mallinson is the founder and managing director of award-winning public relations brand Scriba PR. Typically operating in niche, technical sectors – such as engineering and recycling – the firm aims to tell businesses’ complex stories and raise their profile.