Porch Light - PR, Media Relations, MarketingPorch Light - PR, Media Relations, Marketing
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by Jennifer Chan

Resolve to Be Ready – Preparation is Half the Victory

As we look ahead to 2016 and how we can help our clients gain earned media, my thoughts always come back to preparation. Behind every successful campaign is a lot of time spent brainstorming, crafting talking points and having all your bases covered!

(PR) Plan Accordingly – A PR plan (whether done quarterly, bi-monthly or yearly) provides clients and PR practitioners a great framework. We always tell clients their PR plan is a fluid document and likely to change, but it gives us an outline of when and what we will be doing on their behalf, allows us to plan accordingly based on their budget, identify the strategies we will use to earn media on their behalf and to identify target audiences and media outlets.

Talking Points – Even if not always utilized, clients as well as media appreciate them. Serving as the go-between, PR representatives often have the clearest understanding of what each party is seeking from the interview and a few key messages can help them feel prepared (client) and direct the line of questioning (reporter). Have talking points drafted in advance and ready to tailor and tweak should a last minute opportunity arise.

Schedules & Contact Information – With the news being a 24/7 business, it’s always helpful to have a general idea of where your client spokespeople are and how they can be contacted. If news breaks and your client might add a valuable comment to the story, make sure before you reach out to the reporter that you know the exact timespan your client will be available and how they can best be reached.

Friendly Reminders – We have found that most clients are responsible for a multitude of marketing functions within their organization and always appreciate a “friendly” reminder when a blog might be due, an award submission deadline is a week away, etc. We are communicators and our job is to help our clients get the job of communicating done in a timely manner.

Social Media Outreach – If you know a story is scheduled to run, be prepared to not only send your client the link once it airs or is posted, but the Twitter handles of the reporter and media outlet to accompany the posting. Time is precious and anything you can do to lighten the clients’ load and help them gain awareness across multiple communication channels is usually much appreciated.

While you can never predict the future in public relations, you can certainty try to prepare for it. What tactics would you add to our list?

About jennifer
Jen is Porch Light’s public relations pro. After graduating from Syracuse University with a degree in Magazine Journalism, she worked at public relations firms in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and finally back here in the Hoosier state. Her former clients include: The Peninsula Chicago, Kenneth Cole, American Eagle Outfitters, Jamba Juice, Sprint PCS and IBM.

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