Global PR market value is projected to reach over $90 billion by 2022. Having a documented PR strategy is essential, yet startlingly, only 46% of large US enterprises utilise one. This is likely because public relations is a day-to-day task requiring full-time commitment and it’s easy for teams to neglect PR for other activities. All PR initiatives should generate a positive impact on your brand and work towards hitting your KPIs. To ensure this, a comprehensive PR strategy is needed. Alternatively, you can hire an expert agency (like Contentworks) to do the legwork for you. A solid PR strategy will guide you through the murky waters of public perception and help you prioritise and navigate the changing demands of the market. Let’s look at the fundamentals of Planning A PR Strategy – Our Expert Tips
Assess the situation
Assessment is the foundation of a PR strategy. It forms the basis of what you need to do and a guide to future decisions. The PR team needs to collaborate with relevant stakeholders such as customer support, commercial, production, and marketing to get an accurate breakdown of the brand’s situation and direction. They need to have a clear picture of competitors, production plans, corporate image, business goals, and the financial situation to create an impactful strategy.
PR Tip – If the sentiment surrounding your brand is poor, take a pause. Galloping ahead with fresh PR when the general public hates you, probably isn’t the right move. Brands like Robinhood have tried and failed with this “breezy” strategy.
Know your audience
The world offers a massive potential audience and it’s impossible as well as ineffective to target everyone. By knowing your audience, you can begin to start understanding specific needs and challenges and this is crucial to creating an effective PR strategy. To do so, extensive research is required; consider the people who consume your products and services.
Your consumers: These are your primary target group. They should be at the forefront of your mind as you make any plans. It’s essential to know your buyers and why they use your services or pay for your products. Outline and develop a story that they can identify by researching their media consumption habits.
Your consumer influencers: This target group includes publication editors, influencers, bloggers, and journalists that operate within your industry. Choose thought leaders and industry experts with a large following on social media and other relevant niches.
Develop PR objectives and goals
Use the G.O.S.T strategy to create a positive impact. GOST stands for goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics.
- Goals: The goals are the main aims you intend to accomplish. For instance, being the leading producer of your product in the country.
- Objectives: These are the steps you will take to achieve your main goal. You need to ensure that your objectives are specific, measurable, agreeable, realistic, and time-bound. For instance, you are planning to increase subscribers by 30% within the next 12 months.
- Strategies: Strategies defines the approach you will take to achieve your objectives. For example, using influencers to assist in getting as many new subscribers as possible.
- Tactics: These are the tools you will be using to support your set strategies.
Using the G.O.S.T model will give your PR team guidance in dealing with multiple tasks. You will have a hard time seeing the impact of multiple press releases however, with the G.O.S.T model, you can maintain clear objectives to work towards and in the end, achieve the main goal.
Create a theme
The theme is the main message that you want to pass on to your audience. This message will be the backbone of your activities and tactics. Everything you plan for and do should communicate this message. Your theme should be consistent and communicate a unified idea. To come up with a sound and impactful message, you need to look at your brand’s core values and mission. Pick phrases and words from your brand’s vocabulary while avoiding generic words/phrases and repetition. Also, frame your message in a way that addresses your brand’s current situation and speaks for your ongoing plans. Your message should have the following properties:
- Evocative: It should evoke emotions and feelings and encourage the audience to participate.
- Compelling: Your message should drive your audience to take action.
- Adaptable: Your message should be compatible with the various communication channels you intend to use.
- Memorable: Your message should be something that your audience can easily recall.
- Simple: Ensure that people can easily understand your message and don’t overcomplicate things.
- Concise: Avoid lengthy messages that might turn off your audience.
Dealing with a PR disaster or want to prepare? That’s a different theme entirely. Check out our article.
Identify PR channels
Now that you have the goals you intend to achieve, the strategy, and the message, the next step is to reach your target audience. It’s important to use as many effective channels as possible for maximum reach. So, you must identify the channels in which your audience spends most of their time. Some to consider include:
- Social media: A social media presence is the best way to amplify your message. Build a relationship with your followers and set social media KPIs to ensure you stick to your set targets. Learn more here.
- Thought leadership: Use media outreach, digital advertorials, social media engagement, and blogs to establish critical company heads as industry thought leaders.
- Digital news: Develop an online newsroom that will use appointed keywords to push press release communication.
- Conversion strategy: Ensure you have a team that will respond to customer queries and obtain any additional information necessary.
- Speaking opportunities: Use event opportunities, podcasts, or webinars that play within your industry.
- Reputation management: You can use alerts to retrieve brand mentions and make appropriate responses; they provide you with positive and negative online conversations, comments, and reviews.
- Industry monitoring: Keep a tab on the daily developments of the industry to discover new things and identify where you can upgrade content. You can also gage overall sentiment.
- Influencer marketing: Find micro-influencers in your industry and create a digital relationship that will benefit both of you and reach audiences effectively.
- Event marketing strategies: Use online media to generate brand awareness, increase leads and drive website traffic. You can incorporate speaking opportunities within this.
Plan a budget
Managing your budget is critical in ensuring your PR strategy is successful. Budgeting takes into account both branded content and earned media. When devising a budget, you need to consider the following:
- The number of followers you want to reach on social media
- The demographics and region (this will hugely impact the price)
- Which channels you will do it on
- Other targeting such as by job description (it will usually cost you more to reach CEOs and shareholders)
- How long your campaign will run for
- How you will distribute press releases
- The number of hours you will be spending creating content and how many pieces you need
- The number of speaking opportunities, media outlets, reporters, and influencers you will be using
PR can be costly. These costs are attributed to the many steps involved in the process and the numerous communication channels you have to use. The costs of doing internal PR can also accumulate depending on the number of people you have for the job and their remuneration. However, if you are outsourcing the service, the standard price for medium-sized brands is around $5,000 – $10,000 per month. Free PR is extremely rare, especially within the finance sector. It’s unlikely you will be able to achieve a no-cost strategy unless what you’re offering is extremely coveted. Any price range can get you a degree of PR/publicity, however, you should ask yourself if you will get value for your money and if the campaign will be effective.
PR Tip- Check the ranking and reputation of sites before you part with your money. If the site ranks lower than your own, you need to ask why you’re doing it.
Measure the results
Measuring brand awareness is quite challenging. It’s also difficult to demonstrate the ROI of PR activities. After putting your message out there, you need to track the progress and win(s) according to your objective. You need to identify the metrics that support and align with your targets. Some of the KPIs that you should check include:
- Number of backlinks from the PR
- Website rank
- Web traffic for the site and the article
- Physical distribution or coverage for print
- Social media growth, shares, and reach
- Social media account tone/sentiment
- Influencer engagement
- Brand mentions on digital media
- Media coverage tone/sentiment
- Total reach, impression, and media coverage
PR Tip – Don’t put out PRs when you haven’t got anything to say. This might sound obvious but in a scramble to spend budget and be seen, many companies make this mistake.
Best low-cost press release distribution services
Below we have detailed 5 popular press release distribution services. For tailored PR placements in the finance space including banking, forex, crypto, fintech and stocks, talk to our team.
If you have business in niche areas, you will enjoy top-rated industry targeting services with eReleases. They recruit journalists from various industries, allowing you to subscribe to their services. You will pay $299-$599 for each press release distribution. The service comes with next-day distribution, attached images, and over 5,000 syndicate outlets. They also provide for up to 150 sites and 600 words per press release depending on the package you choose. Key features include:
- 90-150 site distribution
- Next-day distribution
- Can attach images at a fee
- Analytics report
- Up to three targeting lists by state and industry
- Syndication to over 5,000 subscribing journalists, trade publications, radio, TV, online services, databases and websites
- Minimum 400-word count
- 7 million contact databases and 700,000 journalists
- Highly targeted distribution
From as low as $199, Newswire offers press releases. They allow you to target your press release by industry, nation, region, and state. It’s an ideal PR service for businesses that are targeting a specific niche within a specified location. Newswire accommodates small business releases from a range of $199 to $799 per release. Some of the stand out features from Newswire include:
- Video embedding
- Multimedia attachments
- Report of where your press release was published
- Engagement analytics
- Targeting by industry
- 250 daily media outlets
- 500-word press release distribution
#3 PR Distribution
This distribution and press release writing service claims to guarantee you outstanding content, which guarantees placement. They offer an incredibly competitive price point of $99 per distribution. It’s an ideal distribution service for small businesses that want to message the national press at a low cost. Stand out features from PR Distribution include:
- 24/7 customer support
- Permanent press release hosting
- Annual and monthly consistent PR business plans
- Press release writing for $99
- Embedded and attached multimedia
- Social media distribution
- Performance reports
- Can target industry, local, regional and national
- Can target five industries
- Up to 500-word count for entry-level package
- Unlimited word count on all other packages
- 25 guaranteed placements on digital and traditional outlets
Send2Press is among the cheapest press release and distribution services with prices as low as $99. Here, you get various high-quality channels, including social media, AP National, and print. You can use their professional writing services to craft a press release at a discount ($89). The cost for the different plans ranges from $99 to $199 per distribution. Standout features for Send2Press include:
- Social media, industry, and regional targeting
- Free multimedia embedding
- Lowest price for 800 words
- Press release rewriting service from $89-$199
- Free AP style verification and proofreading
- Engagement metrics
- Analytics report
This service offers you comprehensive reporting and analytics for your press releases. With PR web, you get real-time reports. It’s an especially useful service if you operate in a business with stringent and controlled budgets. PRWeb can work with small businesses with prices as low as $99 and up to $389 for premium services. The standout features for PRWeb include:
- Multimedia attachments
- Advanced metric tracking such as press release social media shares, traffic sources, click-through rates, multimedia engagement, search visibility, and views
- Real-time analytics and reporting
- Search engine optimisation tagging
- Placement on PR Newswire and PRWEB industry feeds
- Unlimited press release word counts
It’s essential to have a well-researched and thoughtful PR strategy if you want to see results. Are you interested in taking your first steps to reach your PR goals? Contact Contentworks for further enquiries and let us help you achieve them. Want to see our work? You can visit our portfolio and check out the PR section.