SupportBiz lists the major steps in forming a public relations plan for your business.
1. Determine objectives.
The first step is to determine the major objectives of your public relations. What do you want to achieve through your public relations? Do you want to increase the visibility of your business? Do you want to establish credibility? Do you want to achieve an increase in sales and profitability?
Lay these objectives down, in clear terms.
2. Determine your target audience.
The next step is to determine your target audience. Who do you want to reach out to through your public relations efforts? This could be your existing or potential customers, civic leaders, employees, suppliers or the community at large.
Be clear about the group/s of people among whom you wish to spread your message.
3. Create a budget.
Determine a budget for your public relations efforts. Be clear about the amount of money that you can spend comfortably, to get your message across to the intended party/parties. You might want to allocate this budget among various, subsidiary overheads.
It is also prudent to set aside a certain sum of money for unforeseen circumstances that arise in the course of your execution of public relations efforts.
4. Determine activities to be undertaken.
The next step is to decide on the activity/activities that you will undertake as a part of your public relations efforts. Choose the activities that will help you best reach out to your targeted audience.
Your public relations budget as well as your objectives will serve as a guide to you while choosing appropriate activities.
5. Draft key messages.
What are the key messages that you want to convey through your public relations? Determine these, in no uncertain terms.
Draft the keynote speech that you will be making at the different activities you plan to organise as a part of your public relations.
6. Develop a detailed list of tasks and a timetable.
Next, you need to develop a detailed list of tasks that will help you undertake the activity/activities that you have planned out.
You will also need to determine an appropriate date for these activities to be undertaken. Ensure that you are done with your list of tasks well in advance before this date.
7. Have a back-up plan ready.
It is a good idea to have a back-up plan ready, something that you can fall back on in case your initial plan fails.
Due to unforeseen circumstances, if you are unable to undertake the activity/activities that you had planned initially, you will not be put in a compromising situation if you have a crisis plan on hand.
8. Take photographs/notes.
When the activity/activities that you had planned are in progress, you should take notes and photographs.
These will help you a great deal in your marketing efforts in future.
After the completion of the pre-determined activity/activities, undertake a thorough review of the entire process.
This will help you find out the flaws in your activities, so that you can determine how to fix them in case of similar events in future.