As the year comes to a close, it’s time to start preparing for the year ahead by setting goals and creating a plan to accomplish those goals. In the world of public relations, this means developing a PR timeline with set objectives for your company or clients.
Looking back: Before planning for the year ahead, review last year’s PR activity. Where did you achieve maximum media coverage? Were there missed opportunities? What tactics captured the most media attention? Analyze what worked, what didn’t, and use these realizations to adjust your strategy for the upcoming year.
Getting started: We recommend starting with an annual PR timeline. Consider the full year ahead and set goals for each quarter. After the first quarter, you should analyze your results and adjust future goals if necessary.
Set objectives: You want to consider your overall business objectives and keep these in mind when formulating key media messaging. This messaging should act as the backbone of your media outreach in the upcoming year.
Develop a plan: Create a timeline that has buzz-worthy press opportunities. If your company or one of your clients is opening a new store, launching a new product, or celebrating a milestone, use this as an opportunity to maximize media coverage. Establish a multipronged strategy that will support these types of press-worthy events.
Vary your approach: You’ll want to create a strategy that supports garnering media attention through a multitude of outlets such as TV, print, digital, podcasts, events and so on. This will require differentiating your pitching strategy and familiarizing yourself with the various beats and topics covered by different media outlets. Utilize editorial calendars to pitch timely and relevant information.
Developing a PR timeline will outline a roadmap of what want to accomplish in the next three, six, and twelve months. While PR timelines are great for organizing your PR strategy and increasing efficiency, remember to stay nimble and frequently analyze the effectiveness of your plan. Your PR timeline is not set in stone and should be adjusted for optimal results as the year progresses.