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What should a PR plan include?

By Nicole Cardenas

Five essential elements that will guarantee a successful campaign


A chart showing parts of a plan.There’s a lot that goes into releasing a successful PR campaign. It’s more than just writing a news release for a new product or coordinating with the media. 


A PR campaign can offer many benefits, including creating a long-lasting impact on your brand and its future reputation. That’s why it’s important to plan a roadmap for your organization’s PR campaign. 


Here are five elements that will help guide you in creating a successful PR plan: 




The first and most important step of your PR plan is to learn about your target audience. You have to understand who you want to reach out to and be able to tailor your campaign to your audience’s wants and needs. Doing this early on will save you money and time in the long run. The best way to research your audience, client, or competition is by reading and auditing news articles and studies. 



Objectives are an outline of what you expect and want to achieve from the campaign. Your PR plan should include one to five objectives that follow the S.M.A.R.T.E.R. outline. 


S.M.A.R.T.E.R. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound, Ethical, and Recorded. Using these objectives will help you see if each of the organization’s objectives and goals meet the criteria. 



This stage is what all of your initial research prepares you for. You can now implement your campaign strategies and tactics. It is important to ask yourself: What steps should you take first? How will you reach your audience? Do your strategies align with your objectives? 



Evaluations tend to be left for the end of the campaign; however, it is in the organization’s best interest to immediately and regularly assess your plan. This allows you to make sure your campaign is on track or if any changes need to be made early on. 


These evaluations should be done consistently and more than once a year. You should decide a schedule that works for the organization and the needs of the campaign. Questions you could ask yourself to approve your plan include: Did your objectives help ensure success? How will you keep track of your company’s success? How will progress and success be calculated and documented? 



Keeping track of the cost and time you will need to put into a campaign is essential in creating a PR plan. You should define all your resources to know what you can and cannot accomplish within your budget. This means your PR plan should be flexible and accommodating. 


Any PR campaign needs to be properly planned out to be successfully executed. Following these five tips will help guide you in creating a PR plan that will ensure overall success.


For more help or information on creating a PR plan, use this PR planning sheet to cultivate an effective PR plan. 


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Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash 

Topics: public relations, PR tips, PR planning

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