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  • Writer's pictureClaire Elbrow

Are you clear about what you want from PR? I hope so!

Updated: Mar 24, 2019

If I could have a £1 for every time someone says to me that he or she 'used to do PR, but did not get much out of it', I would be a very happy bunny! It comes soon after they ask what I do and of course, I respond, 'I work in PR and I work with small businesses and start-ups'.

It is also very true that most business owners I have met and who are responsible for their company’s internal and external communications strategy are still not sure why they need PR and what they get from it.

So, before you jump right in and join either team, I think you should address why you need PR:

First: Make sure you define your goals.

Manage your expectations (and those of your PR freelancer!) by being very clear about what you hope to get out of your PR activity.

PR is about all about communications – it is about two-way communication, so you need to ensure that whatever strategy you put in place is in balance with the overarching aims of your organisation.

  • Are you looking to raise brand awareness?

  • Are you seeking to position yourself as a thought-leader within your sector?

  • Are you aiming to enhance your own, or your company’s reputation?

  • Are you seeking to raise the perception of your organisation as a leading player in your sector or field?

  • Do you wish to increase your customer retention?

  • Are you looking to increase sales via referrals and reviews?

  • Are you looking to increase customer satisfaction and increase engagement?

Don’t go crazy and say all of above if your resources or budget do not allow for this. Most new businesses will be looking at raising brand awareness and potentially lead generation as their first options. Individual business owners may be looking at positioning themselves, and larger company may be looking at positioning a key member of their management team.

It makes sense to take some time to really consider what you want to achieve and the resources you have to help your PR team achieve your goals, such as time and a defined budget.

Second: Define your objectives in a simple statement

Once you have a handle on your objectives and are clear in your expectations, you then need to set about formally summarising them in a single objective statement.

Below are a few examples of statements which I developed with my clients:

  • 'To raise awareness of our new business offering and increase our lead generation activity by 25-30% over the next 12 months'

  • 'To position our organisation as a local employer of choice and increase applications by 30% in the next 12 months'

  • 'To grow our customer base in the horticultural market by 10% in the horticultural market and by 30% in the agricultural sector by 30% within 12 months.'

  • 'To increase the number of delegates attending our annual conference by 30%.'

Third: Decide whom you need to talk to

With your expectations set, objectives identified, and your objective statement agreed you then need to consider whom you need to talk to:

  • Whom do you want to communicate with? Who will be the most important people to you regarding being instrumental or influential in helping you reach your goals? These may be an internal or external stakeholder.

  • What budget do you have available and will it be sufficient to meet your objectives? If not, then you will need to prioritise your goals.

  • Define what will success look like? What will your stakeholders want to get out of this public relations campaign?

Fourth: Be clear about what you are using to measure success.

Choosing the appropriate metrics for measurement and the tools to deliver them are critical elements to achieving success with any public relations activity you choose to do. It is important to understand that the following key points determine that measurement:

  1. What you want to do – Input

  2. What you actually do - Output

  3. What impact 1 + 2 have - Outcome

PR is only successful for businesses if they know what they want to gain from it and plan for it accordingly.

By being clear about your objectives, applying the right metrics and tools to measure how you are meeting these objectives, will you be able to see the success of your PR.

If you want to investigate how we can help you make sure your PR is success, get in touch via

Connect with me on LinkedIn or follow BLM on Twitter or Facebook for regular postings on all things ‘marketing and PR’.

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