Seven Steps to Creating an Effective PR Plan

I was never big on homework in junior high. Much to Sister Mary Ellen’s dismay, I avoided it like the plague. Hey, I had better things to do! Like eating Cheez Doodles, watching reruns of Sanford and Son and wreaking havoc on the neighborhood with my buddies. Homework was for the birds.

But that was then, this is now. Today, I’m all about homework and espousing the benefits of a good PR plan.

A solid PR plan is fundamental to the success of any PR or marketing campaign. After all, you have to do some proper planning before you dive in and start swimming with the sharks. And if your inner eighth grader tells you to resist and retreat, know that a well-written PR plan will give you the focus you need to reach your target audience and surpass your goals.

A good PR plans includes a situation overview, definition of target audiences, goals, objectives, goals, tactics, budget and timeline.

Situation Overview: Summarize your organization’s current communication situation in one or two paragraphs. What’s happening that make’s publicity a priority?

Are you looking to expand sales? Launching a new product line? Is your organization looking to secure VC funding? Expand your donor base?

Whatever the case may be, jot down what’s going on and why you need publicity.

Target Audiences: Define your stakeholders. Who are your customers? Clients? Donors? Prioritize the list by starting with the most important segment first.

Define what your stakeholders read, watch, listen to, attend and visit online. This will help you create a targeted media list.

Goals: Set and define some specific goals. What do you want to accomplish through PR?

Sample goals may include:

  • To generate awareness of our brand and direct consumers to retail distributors
  • To raise awareness of our cause, increase donations and secure corporate funding
  • Increase bookings with tourists from Philly and New Jersey


Now it’s time to set measurable objectives and define the following:

  • The anticipated accomplishments
  • Who’ll manage the tasks
  • The time frame

Your objective may read something like this:

By December 1, Bill will secure two newspaper mentions and one radio interview about launching a business in an economic down turn.

Tactics: Tactics are the things you’ll do to get publicity. This is your to-do list.

  • Write one press release per month
  • Pitch individual writers
  • Monitor editorial calendars
  • Conduct a survey
  • Organize a flash mob
  • Knock over a liquor store (I don’t recommend this one. Could generate negative publicity)

Budget: How much money can you allocate to PR? This will help you define your tactics and determine whether you’ll be able to hire an outside resource, subscribe to a database or use a press release distribution service.

Timeline: A timeline will help you manage the tasks and tactics included in your plan. If you plan to send out one release a month its best to plan when you’ll write and the release and when you’ll send it out.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Peace, love and powerful press.

1 Comment

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One response to “Seven Steps to Creating an Effective PR Plan

  1. This is excellent advice. I feel more focused and ready to go already!


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