Designing Your First PR Program

Mark Nardone

How well do you know your customers? Are they influenced by friends, colleagues, the media or social channels? Have they purchased products or services from you recently, and do you feel they support your brand better than you?

If you’ve got this level of insight from your customers and prospects, then you are ready to begin the groundwork for designing a “smart” PR program at this early stage. Whether you are looking at having a stronger voice in the market or establishing some clarity on where you play in the category, we’ve developed a four-step process that will help get you on the way. You’ve already walked through step 1 (the evaluation process) and step 2 (some PR options) with consultants or agencies.

Now for step 3: You’ve decided that the time is now for a Public Relations program and bringing on a firm is a smart choice to jump-start the effort. How do you budget effectively, ensure this effort will align to business goals, and engage with the most valuable asset you have – your customers?

Regardless of size or budget, certain digital assets and relationships must be built. Collaboration between your team and the PR firm is key for initial tasks, such as developing company messaging that is understood by the target audiences. Building thought leadership and integrating content throughout the marketing effort is also paramount to success; and utilizing multiple channels such as social, your blog and a qualified influencer segment will help engage with customers. In today’s age of empowerment, two-way customer communication is the norm. A good PR team should know this – and will assist in management, execution and, obviously, engagement.

As the program evolves, you should be able to lean on your PR team for impactful media and influencer relationship building. This should be the team’s bread and butter. And depending on the scope of your program, you can leverage partnerships, analysts and creative services to create a full integrated communications plan.

Be sure to set goals, and as milestones are reached, checking in with your PR team will be crucial to help direct future activities and outcomes. Let’s have a conversation (@markcnardone) on the industry and the right formula for your company’s current growth phase. Check out the full eBook here, and be on the lookout for step 4 from our eBook soon, where we will discuss how to measure the success of your PR program.

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