From the desk of Johanna Erickson...
Happy New Year! At the end of 2009, we talked extensively about the process of measuring and budgeting for PR. Given the New Year and a fresh budget cycle ahead, we thought it would be timely to start off the year talking about best practices when it comes to PR planning.
Align PR strategy and goals with
Collaboration with the business is of paramount importance. Take time to plan your PR goals to fit with the current goals and initiatives of the business. It will ensure the PR program is directly supporting the business and will boost its potential success in moving the needle.
Take a look back:
Take the time to review the previous year. Identify what worked, lessons learned, review the previous results and set new goals for the upcoming year.
Establish the budget before planning begins so you can create programs that are executable within the budget guidelines set for the year. This will also help keep the PR program focused and on target.
Conducting a strategy session with the extended PR and marketing team will serve to solidify the goals, direction, key messages and program elements. It will also ensure everyone is behind the effort and provide support where needed.
Creating a timeline for the year will help to not only see the year at a glance, but it will help to align the budget to ongoing programs and create a roadmap for the year.
As you plan, be sure and include specific program goals to measure your success. These markers should be reviewed on a monthly basis so you can determine if you are on track.
Planning should be a collaborative process. Take the time on a monthly or quarterly basis to report on the activities and initiatives that have taken place. This is also a good time to make adjustments to the timeline and report on measurement goals.
The planning process is your map for the New Year. Aligning the company goals with the PR plan sets the stage for a successful and collaborative year.