We are Christina and Peter Pilarski, founders and leaders of CIPR Communications.
One of the most important points we made in our first podcast and blog about public relations is that PR involves a long-term strategy involving sustained actions and tactics over an extended period. One of the great things about a well-executed PR strategy is that it eventually yields benefits over and beyond those you initially intend. A well-established brand with an excellent public image as a result of a strong PR strategy builds up its own momentum and can actually start to promote itself in a way. This all starts with a well-planned public relations strategy.
Building a PR calendar
A great way to develop a long-term PR strategy is to build a 12-month calendar on which you can plot your PR goals for the coming year. As we create this year plan, we look at everything from the audiences we want to reach, which need to be addressed, potentially interesting ties to current events. We then create a timelined approach as to what actions are going to be taken, when and how often: some things will be done weekly, others monthly or quarterly.
As with our marketing strategies, everything in a PR strategy must be based on a set of well-defined goals. Before plotting out the strategy on a 12-month timeline, we first make sure we are 100% clear about what we are aiming to achieve. It may be about building up a sizeable client list or simply building familiarity with your brand in the public space. We encourage our clients to take their marketing hats off and ask themselves what they are trying to achieve in the long run concerning public awareness and perception. Then, we can begin working out how we’re going to achieve those goals. This is a question that involves more than just choosing and implementing a series of tactics. It is also about deciding on tone, establishing the key messages we want to communicate – those are the questions that need to be answered as we build a PR strategy and then put together a tactical plan.