So what is the secret to building a successful company? Ask any business owner these days and they are sure to say that developing an effective communication channel between your business, customers and target audience is essential. Easier said than done I hear you say? But not if you incorporate PR into your business planning process.

The best PR programmes are simple and usually inexpensive. Get the basics right and add a little creativity and smart thinking into the mix and you’re in business. So here’s a quick guide to some PR stepping stones.

Maintain a healthy supply of news

Press releases may be much maligned, but they still work, especially in the social media world, and they don’t cost much. But it’s important to remember that there are a lot of ‘dos and don’ts’ when it comes to distributing a release. Quality always comes over quantity; news should be fed to your target audience regularly, but not too often. For example, bombarding the media with a lot of information one month, and then producing nothing for the next six is not a good plan.

Thought leadership

Demonstrating thought leadership can really contribute to the success of a PR campaign. Fusing case studies with these articles also adds a little more potency. Remember it doesn’t matter how small you are: well-written, nicely pitched articles will always give you natural authority in the media and allow you to punch above your weight.

Social media

You can’t run a PR campaign these days without social media. News travels fast through Twitter, Facebook, blogs and YouTube. So when you have some success with the mainstream media, make sure you channel your coverage through social media too.

Organise regular PR meetings

Regular meetings with your PR agency will ensure that your PR objectives are always relevant and a healthy pipeline of activity is maintained. Keep the meetings lively and always leave time for some creative thinking. Remember that the best ideas don’t come from agencies; they come from agencies working WITH their clients. Dialogue and creative spark are what matter.

Reporting

Measuring and monitoring PR results whilst maintaining visibility and transparency are key to the reporting process. A perfect system will document the status of every activity and look back over previous weeks and months and see what’s coming up. A model based on Aspectus PR’s TwentyTwentyTM, system would achieve this. It monitors performance in real-time against pre-agreed targets and you can search for and pull up coverage anywhere in the world via our client facing extranet.

So there you have it. The key ingredients for a successful PR campaign. The most important thing to remember however is to play to your strengths and to be adaptable. You’ll soon get a taste for which of the above work hardest for you and it will be important to react to that, and to the ever changing media and industry landscapes around you. But with this template in place, you won’t go far wrong and it will only be a matter of time before the coverage starts flowing.

With the shopping list checked off, you can now put in place that all important PR campaign and look forward to building an effective communication channel between your business, customers and target audience.

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