How to build a B2B PR Plan in six easy steps
Posted On March 29, 2018
This article goes back to basics, and looks at how you might build a plan for a B2B PR campaign.
1. Define the audience
It is best to start by defining your audience as clearly and precisely as possible. You can start by identifying them by industry sector and their role and function within their organisation. It is good to go further than this and consider their interests and likely concerns. This is the foundation of the PR plan.
2. Decide the message
Next, I would suggest considering your marketing messages. How can you present your company in clear terms, say one or two sentences, that your customers will relate to? What will inspire them to be curious about your company and contact you? This will be a theme throughout your campaign.
3. Collect resources
What resources are available? Besides starting with some funds to cover the incidental costs, a PR plan will need some other kinds of resources. You will need “material” in terms of interesting, eye-catching stories, images, anecdotes, examples of customer applications and expert input. An exciting news item can make a press release – an ideal resource. Then, when you have identified some resources, think how to use them to the best effect. Bear in mind that more in-depth material is usually used on an exclusive basis, and news items are only topical for a short period. By now you may have an idea of how your PR campaign is going to look.
4. Acquire a media list.
Sometimes you can assemble some contacts and make a list yourself. Sometimes you can to take a short cut and get an instant press list by hiring a PR specialist. They will have worked with the contacts and can bring a media list ready made. The better you know the media – how they put their publications together, what they like to publish, and when – the more successful your campaign will be.
Build some dates into your calendar. Certain dates may be fixed. You can plan media communications to work around industry events, trade shows and conferences, bearing in mind the dates planned for your product releases, and likely dates for news releases and company announcements. When these dates are pegged to the plan it’s possible to work backwards, and plan activities to hit the right dates and deadlines, allowing for publication lead times and holiday periods. It may be useful to think about the seasonality of the market, and whether to work around holiday periods, and also to dovetail with sales campaigns and other marketing plans.
Use the results to plan your next campaign. Look at the results to see what lessons can be learned and feed this in to the next stage of the plan. There are some neat tools on the market to help you see what has been published about your business and assess its likely reach and impact.
Having suggested that you take this kind of approach to make a PR plan, I would recommend allowing for some flexibility so that you can react to industry news as it unfolds.