Across all areas of business, there are a few must-haves when it comes to your company’s PR plan. You may not think your tech startup is very similar to an established consumer restaurant, for example, and looking at operational procedures, you’re probably right. However, from a PR perspective, there are several standard, no-buts-about-it things that should be in any company PR plan.
A true definition of your company.
You would be surprised how difficult this can be to define and how your team may have different ways of describing what you do. Ask yourself: What is my elevator pitch? What do we offer our stakeholders? Make sure to include your value proposition: What makes you truly different/special/unique? This helps your PR team have one agreed upon messaging section that you can articulate to your publics.
A true definition of your brand.
Once you are aligned on what you do, find the brand voice you’ll use to communicate. Develop a brand personality by describing it using adjectives, just like you would a person. You can do this by creating two lists: one list of words that your company is, and one of words that may seem similar but that easily describe the difference. For example, “SHIFT is: ballsy” (one of our core values) but “SHIFT is not: reckless.” Keeping this brand voice list in your plan helps ensure that all communications are speaking about your brand in the same way – showing your customers consistency and reliability.
A crisis communication plan.
While we all wish that issues never befall us, it is very important to ensure you have a plan, should any arise. This includes a communication plan (think old school phone chains): Who will physically communicate that an issue has occurred? Who needs to know, and in what order? Include contact information and make sure the PR team is a key part of that chain. You also want to have a media relations crisis plan; if you have employees that may be on the front lines, ensure that they understand what to do should media approach them – and how to get in touch with the PR team. Social media crisis guidelines should be included as well.
A social media plan.
Social media shouldn’t be kept separate from “traditional PR” efforts. It should be part and parcel of the plan overall. Ensure that your strategies are aligned, and that messaging, brand voice and goals are, too. Creating full, 360-degree campaigns that cross-promote content and pull messaging through are a great way to make this happen.
PR is seeing better measurement each and every day – with Google Analytics, trackable links, hashtag uses and more. Create goals and metrics in the beginning of the plan; then, show how you’ll measure results at the end. You’ll want to show your achievements – and your larger company will appreciate a way to quantify them.
With these five must-haves in your PR plan, just add in your company’s major goals, strategies, some creative ideas, and you will be set up for PR success. What do those next steps look like? Stay tuned for part 2, What Every Company PR Plan Needs: The Details.