10 Steps to Create a PR Program Plan

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Looking for an organized way to plan a professional PR event without forgetting anything? Follow this 10-step guide to ensure you include every necessary aspect in your plans. This will blow your client away and help to ensure that you achieve all of their goals.

Public Relations is a process so you need to have a plan. The first step begins with a Problemor Opportunity. Then the professional can conduct Research and develop the PR Planor recommended Action. Once the plan is approved by the client, the professional Communicatesthis plan to the target audience. This puts the plan into effect. Lastly, the PR professional Evaluates or Measures the success of the plan. These steps are part of the PR process that will guide the PR professional in creating a successful program.

PR plans include the following:

  1. Situation
    1. Describe the client and its problem, need or opportunity for this plan
  2. Description of the Event
    1. Be creative in coming up with a name for the event
    2. Find a location for the event and explain why you chose this place
    3. Decide on date(s) and time(s) of the event; explain your reasoning
  3. Objective
    1. What are you trying to accomplish?
    2. This has to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Time-bound)
  4. Audience
    1. List your target audience(s)
    2. Can be as simple as one sentence
    3. Be specific
  5. Research
    1. Include relevant research about the client, problem/need and audience
    2. Statistics, graphs or other visuals may aid this part
  6. Key messages
    1. List two key messages that will resonate with your audience
    2. Could be catchy/inspiring/a call-to-action statement
  7. Strategies & Tactics
    1. Strategies: howyou propose to achieve your objective (and get what you & the client want); often not visible to the audience but an important piece of the plan; can even be its own event advocating for the bigger picture
    2. Tactics: the tools you will use to communicate your strategy to your target audience; goal is to propose multiple but might actually only create a few or even just one for each strategy
    3. Tactics should include: face-to-face activities, print, broadcast, social media, web/Internet/email, alternative media (billboards, promotional items, prizes, giveaways, etc.)
  8. Evaluation/Measurement
    1. Explain how the success of this plan will be measured – done by describing the output and the outcome
    2. Output: a numerical count of everything you released/published/shared (actual numbers for tactics used)
    3. Outcome: measuring the responses you receive (such as counting the number of donations, number of comments/likes, etc.)
  9. Budget
    1. Create a table with rounded off numbers that lists all costs for this PR plan
    2. Estimate costs based on strategies and tactics used
    3. Keep the focus on promotional activities rather than advertising, which can be expensive
  10. Timeline/Calendar
    1. Display a visual chart or calendar
    2. Include any planning activities and evaluation in this calendar

Now that you have an understanding of how to piece together a PR Plan, you’re ready to go ahead and plan your program.

Kayley Boucher is a Public Relations and Communications student at the University of Rhode Island. She will be graduating in the year of 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts degree but is currently taking fundamental classes towards this degree.

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