Planning is important for all businesses, and you will know, if you read my blogs regularly, that it is incredibly important to me.
I encourage my clients and everyone else to understand the importance of planning in your PR too.
The outcomes of PR don’t happen overnight – it takes time for you, your brand, reputation and business to become visible.
As I’ve also often reiterated, PR is not about ROI – it isn’t instant. How it does work for your sales, is over time, people becoming aware of your business visibly, building your credibility and providing opportunities for you to be seen, which is where sales can then appear – if you know how to sell and you have a strong sales process.
People may be watching your business, and when they see how well the business is doing in a broader sense, including how it treats its customers and clients, then you are more likely to make a sale. It shows confidence and therefore gives confidence to potential buyers.
Planning for your business helps you to be strategic, rather than reacting at the last minute and missing important opportunities. It does not mean being inflexible though. You must be prepared to flex or change the plan when something unexpected happens. The plan must have elasticity.
Having an overview plan for your business, means that you can then look at each quarter to plan your PR in detail, looking back to your main business goals, and perhaps address unforeseen changes that might appear as the year progresses. However, it is important to make sure your marketing always aligns with your business goals for the year too.
It is especially helpful to plan with others who can inspire you, and keep you accountable. This could be with a business coach, business buddies, a networking group or something else – even a mixture of all of these people.
Why quarterly planning is so important?
1. Whether you work alone, or with a team, having a quarterly plan is an efficient way to keep everyone motivated and on track.
2. Because each quarter is only 90 days, it is a realistic time to work towards, and keeps goals manageable throughout the year. The plans provide you with a clear focus to work towards in smaller steps.
3. Concentrating on only the main events, the business milestones happening in your business in the next 3 months, provides you with a very targeted and focused time to work on.
4. Having specific actions means you have attainable milestones that you can cross off as you meet them. This is when you celebrate with your accountability buddy or you readjust a plan to accommodate changes which you were not expecting.
5. Checking your budget against your yearly spend, ensures you have the resources to meet each quarter’s outcomes. You will know exactly what you can afford, whether it is new product development, new staff, or money for outsourcing those areas of the business you don’t enjoy, or are not skilled in.
6. You have a clear idea of what success will look like, when you have completed your tasks in the plan. Success is different for every business. Understand what success looks like to you and don’t be sidetracked by someone else’s version of success. They are not you.
7. Planning PR quarterly is very helpful as it’s essentially a story plan for you and your team – not all stories are suitable for media outreach, yet all stories can be used somewhere in the PR multi-verse.
8. Public relations will then become an integral part of your business as it’s always looking forward. You will be ensuring that your business remains visible, in a positive way.
9. Sometimes things go wrong – yet planning can help with that too. If there’s bad news around the corner or something which could go public and be negative, it’s possible to have a plan to manage that if you can be honest enough to recognise that a situation is going to be challenging.
For further reading about planning, check out my blogs from 2022:
The feedback from people who have already attended one of my Powerful PR Planning workshops is, they have found them excellent, not only because I share my years of experience and knowledge with attendees, but for small business owners who may work alone, you will meet other people in a similar situation to you. The other people attending can be the ones to inspire you and become your accountability buddies.
My next PR planning workshop will be in late Nov early Dec so to express an early interest please email me on: firstname.lastname@example.org