There are many things that can go wrong when creating and implementing a PR plan/campaign, but that doesn’t mean that it is destined to fail. If you want to make sure your PR plan fails, try the following:
- Wing it.
- Try to do everything, especially if everyone else is doing it.
- Conversely, just send out press releases.
- Try to reach everyone.
- Set unrealistic goals.
- Don’t measure results.
- Don’t monitor W.O.M. or the one press release you sent out.
- Use the plan you used last time.
- Be inconsistent.
- Be inauthentic.
While this list is meant to be a bit satirical, it has some truth to it. Your PR campaign is meant to be an effective method for you to achieve your organizational goals through PR tactics and strategies. As such, you need to:
- Plan; extensively. This will help you to avoid needing to create another plan to fix the mistakes of your currently failing plan, and it can help to alleviate the number of activities you partake in that don’t contribute anything positive. Plan to succeed, and succeed by planning.
- Choose the tactics that work best for you, your company, and your current situation. This is a part of planning that needs to be established as you should avoid wasting time on activities that are irrelevant.
- Use all of the available PR tools! This includes the press release, but there are others like social media, media relations, and actually communicating with your buyers.
- Define your audience and craft a message that will reach the ones your products and services will benefit the most; they’re the ones you should be targeting.
- Set goals that make sense for your current situation and that are within reach. It’s good to set goals that are somewhat hard to reach, as that helps to encourage productivity and success, but creating goals that are impossible to reach will only instill a lack of confidence.Moreover, your clients won’t be too happy that your lofty goals were unreached.
- Measuring the results of your PR plan is just as important as the planning, and without this step, your PR plan will have little effect on your future PR plans. Measuring results is also a great way to compile information to share with executives and shareholders who need to be sold the benefits of PR.
- Following from #5, measure the buzz you help to generate. This will not only add to the “report” that you can share with decision makers, but you can also avoid or alleviate potential or already happening crises. If you’re unaware of your surroundings, there’s no way you can react.
- Create a new plan every time you have a new campaign or objective. You don’t have to kill campaigns or plans if you find them still generating results or relevant, but you do need to create individual plans for each objective you or your client has. Don’t rely on what you did last time (even if it was mildly successful) as that’s a sure way to run into trouble.
- Consistency is the only way you can maintain the trust you instill in your buyers. Being inconsistent will only help in deterring customers from coming to you for their needs.
- Additionally, be authentic. It’s very difficult to maintain a smoke and mirrors performance for long and you will at one point or another be found out. Avoid the trouble and the PR crisis by being real and being so consistently.
The moral of the story: be smart about your PR plan and its implementation as you can greatly damage your brand if you go about it poorly. Plan and be prepared.