In today’s competitive business landscape, a well-executed PR campaign can be a game-changer for any business. However, to make sure your PR campaigns are effective, you can’t forget the strategy!
In this blog, we will explore the five common pitfalls of PR strategy planning, so you can deliver real, impactful results, every time.
What is PR?
PR, or Public Relations, is all about building positive relationships with the public. By developing a strong strategy, you have the power to shape how people see your business, manage your reputation and even influence customer attitudes and behaviours.
PR involves a variety of activities, such as crafting key messages, managing crises, organising events, engaging with influencers and utilising digital platforms. But at the end of the day, the ultimate goal of PR is to increase brand awareness and boost your credibility.
Why do you need a PR Strategy?
First things first, let’s dive into what a PR strategy is! A PR strategy is a roadmap that outlines objectives, goals and tactics for your business. Typically, a PR strategy includes the following elements:
- A target audience
- Key messages
- Tactics and activities
- Implementation and timeline
Now you know what a PR strategy is, we’re going to talk about five very common pitfalls to avoid when building your plan.
Pitfall one: Having a bad brief
To tackle this head-on, it’s important to establish a brief that outlines the campaign’s purpose, target audience, key messages, and outcomes. By starting with a solid and well-defined brief, you can lay a strong foundation for a successful PR strategy that hits the mark and delivers the results you’re aiming for.
One of the most significant pitfalls we’ve seen when it comes to PR strategy planning, is starting with a poor brief. A bad brief lacks clear direction, objectives, and key messages. It makes it difficult to develop an effective strategy and deliver measurable results.
Pitfall Two: Having no clear insights
Understanding the target audience, media landscape, and industry trends is crucial for the success of a PR campaign. Without this knowledge, it’s difficult to create messages that truly resonate with your target audience.
To ensure you have a solid understanding of this, we’d always recommend investing time into market research. This allows you to gather insights into your audience’s preferences, interests and even communication channels. By understanding their needs and behaviours, you can tailor your messages to connect with them.
Another way to understand your industry landscape is to carry out a SWOT analysis, where you identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for your campaign. This will ensure that you’re always using data to back up your PR strategy.
Pitfall Three: having unclear objectives
PR campaigns without clear and measurable objectives can sometimes feel a bit scattered and aimless. It’s like trying to hit a target without knowing where it is! When objectives are unclear, it becomes challenging to evaluate the success of the campaign, allocate resources effectively, and make necessary adjustments along the way.
That’s why it’s essential to define objectives that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These SMART objectives allow you to easily measure the impact of your PR efforts once the campaign wraps up. It’s also important to ensure that your PR objectives align with the overall business objectives, creating a cohesive strategy.
Here are a few examples of what PR objectives might be:
- To reposition
- To build the reputation
- To increase credibility
- To drive footfall
Pitfall Four: Trying to target everybody
Another common pitfall in PR strategy planning is attempting to target a broad and diverse audience without clearly defining specific segments or demographics. Trying to reach everyone often leads to diluted messaging, ineffective communication, and a lack of resonance with any particular group.
Imogen, Marketing and PR Executive at Punch, said:
“There is such a thing as too much coverage in the wrong places! The first step in overcoming this pitfall is to identify and define specific target segments. Next, identify where they consume their media. This means that the messaging, communication channels and tactics can all be tailored to resonate with that audience.”
Pitfall Five: Using tactics to rationalise the strategy
It’s common (and easy!) for many to fall into the trap of choosing tactics without a well-defined strategy. This often leads to scattered efforts, inconsistent messaging and missed opportunities. If the PR objectives are the ‘what’ then the strategy is the ‘how’ and the tactics are the tools that you will use to achieve your goals.
Once your strategy is in place, carefully select tactics that align with your objectives, and that will resonate with the target audience. Tactics fall into four categories: Owned, earned, paid and shared.
- Owned media is anything that has been published e.g content that is hosted.
- Earned describes attention you receive from sources out of your control such as publications and media outlets.
- Paid refers to paid activity like advertorials or paid social.
- Shared media encompasses any or all content that’s posted to social media regarding your brand.
Are you tired of always falling victim to the five pitfalls of PR strategy planning? We have a dedicated team of in-house experts who can help plan your PR strategy in a way that will truly elevate your brand.
Contact us today for a chat: Punch Creative Contact Us