I have a friend who has tried to run a marathon upwards of half a dozen times now.
I say ‘tried’ because every time he’s become immersed in the training and preparation, he finds himself scuppered by injury, illness, or a complete psychological panic.
He’s as far removed from a ‘planner’ as you can possibly get.
His idea of avoiding injury and staying on course for his goals, is to carry blister plasters and a can of muscle reliever for when pain and discomfort strikes.
I was reminded of his strategy (or lack thereof) on a recent visit to a new client.
The company in question had found themselves continuously preparing reactive PR statements for ‘issues’ pertaining to their industry or brand.
What the inhouse team had consistently failed to do however, was to take more of a ‘sensible marathon prep’ approach to their PR and marketing delivery, and replace their age-old blister-plaster tactics.
Thankfully, the client could not have been more open to the idea of creating a longer-term robust strategy and to shift away from its reactive approach.
If you’ve reached the point of recognition that you need a more considered roadmap for your PR and marketing, here’s five key considerations:
Look back to look forward
To build the best strategy, yes, you need to look ahead, but it’s also vital to look back at what you have done in the past which has or hasn’t worked.
Can you look at incidences in which – whether planned or otherwise – you’ve found yourself with some great media attention?
What are the issues for which you’ve constantly been having to find a reactive statement?
Take time to review the successes and missed opportunities, and identify which of those might have been approached better.
Survey the landscape
Think not only about what your particular company or brand is trying to achieve, but about what’s going on in your sector, what journalists are currently writing about and how you can position yourself within that landscape.
Is there an opportunity for you to become more of an opinionated voice? Do you see potential areas of susceptibility around what your business does and how it is viewed publicly?
Take time to address these.
Know what success would look like
This is where specificity is key. Be sure you know what it would look like to have achieved your PR objectives.
And that’s not just about ‘crossing the finish line of the marathon’, but about the steps at miles 10, 15, halfway…etc.
Think through what a well planned strategy would have demonstrated internally and externally.
Discuss this element at length with many stakeholders. It will help you best shape your strategy for future success.
Identify the best mouthpiece
The best strategies can often be undermined by a poorly chosen spokesperson or narrator.
Consider who in the business is right for the positioning of your campaign intentions. This might involve some diplomatic planning, but inevitably you’ll be able to identify those who are ‘best placed’ to help position the strategy.
Broaden your mind when it comes to distribution
Remember that your strategy should have multiple approaches to reaching your customers and that today’s media landscape helps you to achieve that.
You’re no longer confined to simply dishing out press releases and hoping members of the press will pick these up.
Think about social media, about video, about marketing via referrals, through current customers and satisfied stakeholders.
The more channels you have, the more impressive the potential victory – and the more people you’ll have championing you when you cross the finish line.
For more marketing or PR support or tips, or to discuss future projects, contact Deborah on 07974 359001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
**Pic by Aopsan for FreeDigitalPhotos