GETTING STARTED: Create your publicity plan
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If you read this blog regularly you know I talk about social media and public relations on a pretty basic and tactical level. After a recent tweet, I received several questions about how to put together a publicity plan (or at least wondering how our team does it). I’m going to share a few tips, tools and resources in the hopes it helps with your next publicity plan.
Why is a publicity plan important? For both myself and clients it helps to keep us on the same page, organize ideas and offer a centralized document my entire team can work from. It doesn’t have to be extremely elaborate, in fact the majority of work happens before you ever put your first plan together. Your goal is identify viable and executable earned social and traditional tactics that will help to spread, share and encourage awareness about whatever it is you want to promote. (Your publicity plan for online promotions should be integrated with your publicity plan for traditional tactics.)
First, make a list of all the tactics and tools in your online arsenal. If you don’t currently have a comprehensive list of “traditional tactics” create that as well. (Traditional tactics includes those things that worked or still work before the integration of social or online tactics.)
A resource like this means we don’t have to recreate the wheel every time a plan is developed.
Here’s one to help you get started:
Next, determine what “level” of publicity might be needed. We have “publicity levels” to help decide on the number of tactics a plan requires (we simply use levels: 1, 2, 3, 4). An example of what denotes #1:
#1 publicity is reserved for those stories and events which have a major impact on the brand’s reputation and directly impact the brand on a national or international level. These stories and events may include (will differ for your business or brand):
- Major awards
- Your business or brand is the first in something (among competitors, state, country, etc.)
- Your business or brand is the best in something (among competitors, state, country, etc.)
- Major initiative announcements
- Results align with national trend
- High profile leadership
- New CEO or other high profile executive leadership
There might be 20+ tactics included in the #1 level versus four to five tactics for #4 level. Point being that you don’t need to utilize every tool every time.
Once you have your list of tools and you’ve determined the level of publicity, then select the tools most appropriate for what you are publicizing. For the sake of this example I’m pulling online tactics.
1. Social Media News Release (SMNR)
a. Recommended: Pitchengine (Sevans Strategy client) www.pitchengine.com
b. Online Newsroom
c. Research pitch list
3. POSSIBLE: Landing Page
4. Social networks
c. YouTube (to be created) or another media sharing site
d. Flickr (or other photo sharing site)
5. Email distribution list
6. Your Web site
Now that I have my list, I drop it into a publicity plan template that includes: tactic, deadlines, approval and review process, status, notes, etc. Here’s a copy of the basic template for you.
I hope this post helps you to get started. I’d love to hear how you create your publicity plans, too. Consider this an open environment for sharing best practices to help all of us grow in our profession.