The first step in developing an effective public relations strategy is to define your goals and objectives. They should be clear and measurable, and closely aligned a company’s key business goals and objectives.
For example, what results or outcomes do you hope to achieve in support of key growth areas? Do you want to raise awareness of products or introduce new services? Do you want to position the client as an industry thought leader or strong community supporter? Do you want to drive traffic to the website or generate new leads? Different types of goals call for different types of tactics and metrics.
Public relations is historically difficult to measure, especially when it comes to avoiding the potential negative impacts of an organization’s proposed actions. However, several metrics can be used to monitor the progress and results of communications strategies in relation to corporate goals. These include but are not limited to demand creation, brand preference, lead generation, website visits and sales. You may also consider less tangible metrics such as awareness, perception and quality of leads.
Start by closely aligning publicity objectives with business objectives in close collaboration with the client. Then, define strategies to achieve these goals, a budget, timeline and metrics. Keep your objectives as clear, specific and realistic as possible, and remain flexible enough to adjust strategies based on evolving outcomes.