I’ve already given a broad structure for a PR plan, and the following is the first of a series of tips about how to write your PR plan.
If you are agency-side, as simple as it may sound, your client contact will most likely send the PR plan on to other people in their organisation. Introduce it properly. Keep it short and sweet. It might be forwarded to the MD, FD or procurement team. Gracious words like "thank you for the opportunity" go a long way. Enthusiastic is good, smarmy is not.
1. Spell the company's and people’s names correctly, and double-check titles and addresses. If you’re lucky you might get 3 strikes. In tough times, and with bountiful choice in a buyer’s market, don’t even risk one chance of a strike.
2. Add colour, add relevant pictures, add diagrams, add tables and spreadsheets. Help the reader by beginning each section with clear subheads.
Ideally, the PR plan should show reflection and research. If an agency is not briefed thoroughly enough then I suggest you don’t guess or make assumptions – ask for clarification. Perhaps propose that you should undertake some more in-depth research before writing the PR plan.
- how effective have the entire communications efforts been recently?
- how are they perceived against competitors?
- where do they want to be in the target market?
- how do they wish to be known and understood?
- and, after all this is sorted and understood, then start writing the PR Plan……….
Too often we pile into writing a PR plan without any clarity and insight on the above basic points. Push and question to get clarity and, if confusion reigns, politely propose that more guidance would really help.