PR Toolkit, it’s become one of those words hasn’t it? An essential word that can dress an in-tangible in tangible clothing, but wouldn’t you rather have a practical PR game plan? Something that was raring to go, full of enthusiasm and purpose ready to do your business justice?
This is what gets me about some of the PR tool kits I’ve seen. It’s like buying a kit car; you get all the components, the step by step instructions and even a picture of what it could look like. But the result is only ever going to be as good as the input, right? So what if you’re just an enthusiastic DIYer rather than a qualified mechanic?
Some off the shelf products probably would work if the input from the author was greater. But most just present a long list of ‘to do’s’ such as: defining objectives, messages, audiences, channels, tools, resources and timeframes etc. In my view this should be left to the consultative process.
However if you’re looking for something that’s practical and can hit the ground running then you don’t need a PR toolkit you just need a plan.
With that in mind here are my basic tips to get you started with PR:
Tip:1 Develop a plan around the 12 months of the year.
Write it out on a huge piece of paper and start to think about what is happening within your business during these months. Will you be celebrating New Year with increased business success? During February do you hold a Valentine’s event for your employees? Will March mark participation in a charity event? Maybe you’ll win an industry award during April? Can you now see how much communication potential you really have?
Tip 2: Work out what you want to say.
Don’t think sales messages; instead think about how you can create wider understanding and awareness between yourself and your customer. It doesn’t matter what the product or service is; the rule is consistency and personality. Think about how you can share the personality, authenticity and human side of your service or product. Just by thinking outside the realms of selling you can turn your communication into something people will actually be interested in.
Tip 3: Work out how you are going to communicate it.
Look beyond your local newspaper. The media has its place but you have many more opportunities to share your message. Use your own website; develop your own expert blog. Maybe you have a Google+ account, Facebook or Twitter? Use the informality of social media and get creative.
Don’t make this a big task, start with your own online media and place a story on there once a month. As your confidence develops, increase this to twice a month and so on. Dealing with the media is different but if you have a genuine story that would be of interest to the wider community give it go – email or call the newspaper, radio station or TV channel and send it to them. They can only say it isn’t for them, what have you got to lose?
Another word of advice, don’t expect BIG results immediately. This is an organic activity, it will develop and grow but you need to have patience and focus to be consistent and remember have fun too. Is that a plan that works for you?