Questions Ad Agencies Should Ask When Creating a PR Plan

Where you’re developing a public relations plan for your agency or a client, it helps to ask yourself some important questions. Here are questions I have found are helpful to discuss with my clients before getting started on the plan:

• What are the desired results of the public relations initiative?

• Who are our primary audiences? Secondary audiences?

• What do we know about the image these audiences already have about the organization and its products/services?

• What do we know about the news media’s perceptions of the organization and its products/services?

• What is the image we wish to convey?

• How much of this plan should be geared toward creating awareness vs. changing perceptions?

• What are our key messages?

• What are the best communication vehicles to carry these messages?

• What are the organization’s greatest strengths? Weaknesses?

• What threats/obstacles exist?

• What opportunities exist that at present are not being maximized?

• What percentage of his/her time is the CEO or other designated senior-level executive willing to devote to media relations activities?

• What landmines do we need to avoid?

• What does this plan need to take into consideration in connection with the organization’s overall marketing/branding efforts?

• How will we define success?

• How will we measure success? (In other words, at the end of a year, how will we know if we have or have not been successful?)

It takes a while to plow through and answer these questions, but the end product will be much better if you take the time to go through a disciplined process like this before getting started on a PR plan.

Don Beehler provides public relations consulting services to small- and medium-sized advertising agencies and businesses.

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