Make 2020 the Year Your Message is Heard.
For most Irish tech firms, PR is undertaken on an ad hoc basis - almost as a tacked-on afterthought. And while this approach may occasionally achieve its successes, its effects are severely limited by being once off and short term. A week, and it’s all over.
PR should be seen as a ‘process’ – one which is built in from the very beginning of your journey to support your every company activity and milestone, thereby developing your company’s story and reputation over time, and validating it as you go along in your authoritative media outlets. In short: looking good, and in all the right places. This is how you develop your company’s reputation over time, and develop a strong digital footprint.
To achieve this, putting a calendar in place for projected communications activities during the year will ensure you make the most out of every relevant company event, and tell a story that is consistent and joined up. Using this simple method will ensure that you make the most out of every PR opportunity that presents in 2020.
Use a PESO Model to Touch Every Communications Channel
The key to good PR is consistency. So, it makes sense to develop a plan; a calendar of communications activity a year in advance 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 you regularly touch on all relevant messaging activities, and maximise them across all your communications channels – whether these are press, blog, web, events, ads, email, social etc.
Use ‘Owned’ Activity to Fill Any Gaps
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 communications activity.
Be Flexible in Your Approach
Because of the inherently opportunistic and reactive nature of many PR activities, 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 its 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
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 circumstances. It is also a good idea to have as much general company and product PR material prepared in advance - so always have your photos, visuals, video content and infographics updated and to hand. That way you can take advantage of both foreseen and unforeseen opportunities.
Planning in this manner will ensure your name continues to be presented in front of your key audiences regularly over the year, whether through planned ‘earned’ media appearances, or through pushing other valuable ‘owned’ content their way at regular intervals.
(Pic: St Endas Park in November)