I blinked and it’s already late-November! How is it almost 2010? (Is it just me, or does 2010 sound really “futuristic?”) Chances are that as we head into the Thanksgiving and Holiday Season, you have set up your strategy planning sessions with clients for 2010. Here are 10 essentials you should consider including in your PR blueprint for your clients:
1. Client Goals – Have a discussion with your client to make sure you are on the same page about what they hope & expect to get out of their PR campaign. You don’t know how to get there if you don’t know where they want to go. What do they hope to accomplish and what can reasonably be expected during the campaign period? Always set reasonable client expectations and never over-promise and under-deliver.
2. SWOT Analysis – Maybe this is done independent of your press outreach strategy, but you and your client must analyze their Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats to help determine brand messaging & target consumer. What is your clients’ competitive edge? Is there negative press or bad customer feedback that must be overcome? Does your product fall under a growing trend or have a money-saving element? Are you entering a crowded marketplace or are your competitors more established? Once you have outlined your SWOT, you can think about your unique selling propositions and formulate pitch angles
3. Pitch angles – What story angles will you pitch? How do you plan to set your client’s product apart from the competition? Will you position your client as an expert in their field? What seasonal trends & stories will you focus on? What specific messages should be aimed at each group of target customers?
4. Tactics – What are the tools in your PR arsenal? What specific actions will you take to accomplish your strategies? Details are your friend here, the more specific ideas you have for each strategy, the more you will get out of your campaign. What is and is not included in your retainer?
5. Target Media contacts – Which publications do you plan to target? Which specific editors/analyst at each Consumer, Trade, Blog, Online Magazine, or TV Show is the best contact? Have you verified your media list is up to date?
6. Social Media Strategy – More and more prospective clients are asking for these services. Will you help them create and maintain a Twitter presence & Facebook fanpage? What is the purpose of your client’s presence in these arenas? Will you facilitate discussions, assist with growing their following, offer promotions, product news, and giveaways? Social Media also opens up a forum for the community to respond to your client’s presence. Depending on certain blog posts or a fan’s reaction on Twitter, you can gain important information about consumer reaction. This can serve as a form of consumer research that you can relay back to your client.
7. Celebrity Gifting & Seeding – As much as I hate this part of PR, if you have a product or service that is used and loved by celebrities, that’s another tool in your arsenal to help secure your clients press placements. Create a target list of relevant stars that are a good fit for your product and work with their representatives to dress that star in your brand, or pass along your product as a gift.
8. Events – What events will your client participate in or host? Conferences, Launch parties, trunk shows, trade shows, personal appearances, fashion shows, etc. What media outreach efforts or support will you provide to get the most out of their event involvement?
9. CoBranding Opportunities & Strategic Partnerships – Are there any like-minded companies you can create an alliance with to help gain new customers, media exposure and credibility for your client? Is there something newsworthy about your partnership? Maybe there is an opportunity for a joint press release or launch event to spotlight the partnership?
10. Ongoing Efforts & Reporting – How do you plan to report your efforts to clients and regularly measure the effectiveness of your PR campaign? Let clients know how often they will hear from you, what you are working on, who you’ve contacted, any feedback you have received and next steps (sending an EPK, product sample, calendaring follow-up, etc.). What is your method for reporting results?
There is a method to our madness, and it helps to lay it all out so clients can understand and sign off on your approach to meet their Public Relations & Social Media objectives. What else are you including in your public relations & social media campaign strategies for 2010?
Jennifer Berson, a former attorney, is the Founder & President of Jeneration PR in Los Angeles. She is also a founding editor of SoCalPR Blog.