For a lot of tech businesses, PR is undertaken on an event-by-event, ‘let’s put out a press release’ basis, as a tacked-on afterthought. While this approach may occasionally achieve its successes, its effects are limited by being once off and short term - in a week, it’s all over. To fully benefit from PR, it should be seen as a built-in process, supporting company activity and milestones, which builds your company’s story and reputation over time, and is validated by credible and authoritative media outlets. This is how you can really build your company’s reputation, and develop a strong digital footprint that is a real asset to your enterprise.
The key to good PR is consistency. So, it makes sense to develop a plan to promote consistency - a calendar of communications activity to make sure you make the most of every opportunity as it arises. Using a tailored PESO model (Paid, Earned, Shared, Owned) as a start point will ensure that you touch on all relevant messaging activities time and again, and maximise them across all your communications channels – whether these are press, blog, web, events, ads, email, social etc.
Use Owned Activity to Ensure a Spread
When planning for PR/PESO activities for the year, it is a good idea to visualise the full year ahead, and as far as possible identify the key company milestones for the coming year. Around these events can be populated with other communications activities: media opportunities, feature pitches, opinion pieces, your blog calendar, case studies, white papers etc., together with supporting social and/or paid supports. By planning in this manner, you can ensure an even spread of communications across the year. And by scheduling ‘owned’ media across the year, you are assured that the gaps can be plugged between major company events with this easily planned and delivered communications activity.
Because of the inherently opportunistic and reactive nature of many PR activities, I always roughly plan for six months, and then re-examine and revise it on a rolling basis after every three months. PR depends on company milestones for much of its formal content, which means it requires flexibility and a recognition that things will change over time – product launches may be pushed out, funding, sales or partnership announcements likewise, etc. with a knock on effect for your plans. In other words, nothing should be set in stone until closer to the date.
Nevertheless, it is worthwhile mapping out what you know of your year in advance, and then highlighting the PESO aspects of each activity, and allocating appropriate resources accordingly. These can then be tweaked, brought forward or pushed back according to circumstance. And always be open to new opportunities that may present themselves – and always have your photos, visuals, video content and infographics updated and to hand to take full advantage of them.
Planning in this manner will ensure your name continues to be presented in front of your key audiences regularly over the year in the way that you have control over, whether through media appearances, or through publishing other valuable content at regular intervals.