Planning in PR as in all business is very important – and for all types of marketing it’s key (in my world all marketing is PR).
There is a very good reason for this – being visible doesn’t have immediate results therefore during a business’s daily operations PR can fall down the to-do list because it’s ROI is not instant.
However, credible business owners know that it’s important for building brand awareness, visibility, credibility and opportunity which leads ultimately to sales in the medium to long term.
In sales speak it keeps your future sales pipeline flowing.
So if you are serious about reaching your business goals – or scaling up if that’s your wish – then you have to plan.
Take it from me – and I’m no natural planner in anything.
Ten reasons why planning is important
- Builds a habit. And as I’ve already mentioned, PR takes time, so you need to continue to plan, throughout the year and sometimes flex the plan. How long does it take to build a habit? It used to be considered 21 days, but recent research discredits that and says on average it takes 66 days to form a habit.
- Allows you to be strategic and not scattergun or you will waste money. You need to consider all of the business milestones that you know about in the year: entering business awards; making new contract wins; new appointments; appearing in media; being keynote speaker at a business event etc.
- Helps you build in time for wins in the long run. It will take time for your business to be noticed, and that may bring unexpected opportunities. If you plan regularly, for each quarter, then you will be more likely to know when some changes are expected. If you don’t plan, things will take you by surprise and you’ll be chasing your own tail trying to fit everything in and you will therefore be unable to take those opportunities.
- Makes public relations a central part of your business. Your business needs to be seen by clients consistently; building your reputation, keeping your brand visible in a positive way. You always need to be sure you and anyone working in or for your business, are remaining on brand: in whatever you post of social media; sending out in communications to clients; how you deal with clients via email on the phone. Even how you drive branded cars. Your customer service needs to be excellent.
- Helps you work out what to do yourself and what to outsource. The more you start to work on your business, including PR, you will find that there are some things you can’t do, because you don’t have the skills, and others you don’t want to do. Either way, this is when it is worth outsourcing. You will save yourself and your business time and energy, which can be put into the areas you do well, to move your business forward.
- Helps with planning budgets. Knowing what is happening during the year, and the extra spending you may need will keep your budget on track. For example, if you know that during a certain time of the year you are hoping to launch a new product, you will need finance. Possibly to research the product packaging etc; new ways of delivering the product to your customers an importantly, the PR for the product itself and the product launch. You may even have to take on some new staff to enable all of this to happen. You may decide that you want to pay a PR expert rather than try to do the work yourself – all extra costs above your operational spending. Without forward planning, it is unlikely to run smoothly.
- Ensures you become increasingly visible – aligned with business goals. Always ensure your marketing aligns well with your business goals, otherwise it is pointless. Don’t be tempted to splash money on advertising or social media marketing, just because it’s offered to you. You should only be spending the money on the areas which take you towards your goal. It’s then an investment for growth and not a ‘tried it didn’t work’ approach.
- Allows you to makes links to important causes and issues which mean something to you or your team. By knowing what ‘special days’ or awareness days are coming up during the next planning quarter, you can write blogs; share social media posts about those things that are important to you, and why. For example, you might be a Dementia Friendly business – so during any times of the year that there are dementia awareness days/weeks – you can show your clients that you support them, and why. You may have a ‘back story’ that your clients and customers will resonate with and it shows the human side of your business.
- Gives you time to create any artwork or designs for new brochures, fliers business cards ahead of events.
- Allows you to recognise areas where you and your team are lacking in skills. Perhaps they are not so comfortable being in the media and need training for: video; live streaming; speaking in public; writing blogs; speaking to the media; or even planning your PR!
Which leads me to tell you about my next workshop on November 9th, is all about what this blog is about – planning for your PR for Q1 2023. It will be my last in person training event this year.
If you want my help to plan your PR or you want to find out more about me then this November event is a great place to start and the early bird price is £99 plus VAT.