[By Justine Newcombe]

In the world of PR, one of the first concepts taught is how to create a PR plan. Sheridan PRCC students have been there, being drilled with assignments and tasks, all of which involve creating a plan for their clients. It is through continual practice that the process becomes easier, quicker and more effective. Cision, a media communication technology and analytics company designed for PR professionals, has compiled a list of the top nine practices for creating a PR plan, informed by the PR stars. Let’s take a look at some of their leading PR plan tips.

Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Sound familiar? A SWOT analysis is a common yet important step in the planning process. It allows a look into both the internal (SW) and the external (OT) elements of a project. While preparing your SWOT analysis, it is vital that you take the time to assess everything with a critical eye. This will force you to face your weaknesses and threats head on, and allow for a more successful plan.

Cision’s Jim Dougherty quotes PR expert Rachel Meranus, advising that you “consider the full year ahead, plan for six months, and expect to revise after three months…. (PR requires) a recognition that things will change over time.” Plan for the long term, but understand that some variables may change and you will need to reflect and revise your PR plan over its’ course.

“Speed is a huge competitive advantage,” urges Dougherty. When it comes to working with busy, deadline driven journalists, response time is everything. Journalists don’t have the time to wait for a reply, and your PR plan must reflect this. The difference of a few minutes may decide the fate of your pitch, whether it gets picked up or ignored. Plan how you will respond as soon as possible.

You can view Cision’s complete list of PR plan tips here.

(Photo by Justine Newcombe)