At the start of a new calendar year many of us make resolutions in order to try and get ourselves back on track for the coming months. Organisations often find themselves in a similar situation, using the New Year as a chance to reflect on the previous year and focusing their attentions to the 12 months ahead.
In PR and communications, we find that many of our clients are gearing themselves up for a busy year ahead and the majority of our New Year meetings focus on the PR plan for the coming year. We use this time to re-evaluate key messages, as well as business objectives and goals so that we can then create a content plan of activity which links to the PR and communications strategy.
PR and communications is much more than press releases and media relations – it must be strategic and closely align with an organisation’s business plan. That’s why we encourage our clients to share their objectives with us so that we can create a strategy for them, which is unique to their requirements. It’s essential that PR and communications activity is integrated with in-house marketing activity so that the effect is that much more impactful.
Ultimately, public relations is about reputation; the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. Planned PR supports the launch of new initiatives, sets out how to run campaigns or organise a programme of on-going PR activity. It will pinpoint what public relations and marketing activity you can achieve within your resources and budget. PR and communications activities take many guises from promotional literature, video, press releases, events, exhibitions to digital marketing and social media.
It should also set out evaluation methods, which enable the organisation to determine if the efforts have been effective and successful against the objectives.
These types of planning sessions with our clients are always really enjoyable. We get the opportunity to discuss their organisation and their vision for the future. At this stage we begin to feel like part of the team and we know where we can make a real difference and add value. Our clients often refer to us as their marketing or PR team and for an agency to be referred to in such an inclusive way is confirmation that we’re doing things right. We’re used to working alongside company directors and their exec teams – they expect results and so they should.
Good PR, that is based on a carefully developed strategy and aligned to corporate objectives and company values, ensures clients see visible results which support brand awareness, reputation management and business growth.