4 Key Elements of a Successful PR Plan

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There are so many amazing companies, talented people with work to showcase, and exciting projects on the horizon. But publicizing such things to get audiences aware and excited is challenging. Sarah Wilson knows that the key to success is creating a holistic PR plan.

The Girl Scout alum and former Peace Corps volunteer is the founder of POP! Communications Campaigns, a firm that does book-launch management, public relations, and social media influencer-marketing campaigns. For over 10 years, she has worked on behalf of authors, executives, brands, and various New York City agencies.

Wilson has had a multitude of clients over the years, and her commitment to customized PR programs has taught her much about success in the industry. Here are four things she says to keep in mind when developing a PR plan from the beginning.

1. Talk to the Individual

Wilson emphasizes that every client is different, not just in what they are looking to promote, but who they are as a person. “Each client should have a plan that starts from scratch,” Wilson explains. “This is why creating a customized plan is so key.”

It might sound obvious, but the first step to generating an effective PR plan starts with a conversation. Get to know them, their history, what has worked and what hasn’t worked in the past. “It will be more revealing than you realize,” she adds.

2. Understand the Goals

Creating a custom PR plan must include the goals of the individual. A client looking to boost sales will need a different plan than a client who is looking to grow their audience on social media. “These goals aren’t always mutually exclusive, but they do require very different approaches.”

It’s also important to keep in mind that not every goal can realistically be achieved. While it would be wonderful to tick every box, managing expectations is crucial. Wilson adds that clients should be reminded that “focusing on growth in one area can often lead to unexpected growth in another.”

3. Evaluate Strengths

“Someone who is very open and confident and good on camera would benefit from a plan that includes video opportunities,” notes Wilson. “As opposed to someone who is funny and nice, but their work is a better representation — they would benefit from totally different services.”

Even if you’re doing work representing a company, the individuals that make up that company can play a critical role in the success of a PR plan. Speaking engagements, editorial work, and more can all be ways that employees can contribute to the overall goals.

4. Understand the Audience

Once you have a firm grasp on the individual or company you’re representing, Wilson emphasizes how important it is to truly get to know the audiences in their networks.

“It’s not enough to just showcase the work of the person you’re contracted with,” she says. “You have to look at their current audience and see what they respond to, and think about ways to engage new audiences, as well.”

Tags: Tips from Women Executives, Start Up

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

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