Public Relations Plan Template
Whether you are starting a new business or want to update the public’s perception of your brand, a public relations (PR) plan can help you determine your objectives and guide your activities. This template provides a starting place for developing a PR plan for any industry.
HubSpot Tip: Your PR plan should be considered a living document. As external circumstances or internal goals change, be sure to update your plan accordingly.
It is considered a best practice in business to include an executive summary at the beginning of any lengthy document. The executive summary should provide an overview of all of the content in no more than one to two pages.
The executive summary serves as a brief that a C-level member of the organization can read quickly during a busy day to get an understanding of all the main points in the PR plan.
HubSpot Tip: Consider writing the executive summary either first or last. If you write it first, it can serve as a guide as you develop the rest of the document. Be sure to revise it at the end, as some details are likely to change as you write. Alternatively, you can write the complete executive summary after you have finished all of the other sections of the plan.
Every great plan begins with research on the background of the specific problem to be addressed. Your situational analysis research should include meetings with stakeholders, including senior leaders at your organization. You will also need to assess the competition and your industry as a whole by reading news articles and studies.
Your research can be considered complete when you can comprehensively define the current marketing situation at your company and what needs to be done to improve it.
HubSpot Tip: Be sure to focus your research on trends both within and outside your organization.
In this section, you should define the high-level goals of your PR plan. If your organization has been facing a specific marketing challenge, talk about it here. Describe what you want to achieve, ensuring that the goals you select are reasonable and specific.
HubSpot Tip: Try to keep your list of goals to no more than five.
Based on the goals you have defined, create a list of objectives for the PR plan. Think of these objectives as the milestones you need to achieve in order to reach your goals.
Choose SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) objectives that address the problem identified in your Situational Analysis.
HubSpot Tip: Your objectives should link back to the organization’s overall strategic plan.
Strategies, Tactics, and Activities
Break down your objectives into actionable strategies, tactics, and activities. This section should describe how you will implement your PR plan.
Schedule of Activities
Include a calendar that indicates when the key activities will occur. You can use a format like the table below.
HubSpot Tip: If you have identified any opportunities for innovation, describe them in this section.
Target Audience and Channels
Define who makes up your target audience and describe their needs. Your target audience typically includes your current customers, desired customers, the people who influence them, and the media.
You should also identify your target channels. How does your target audience get their information? You should choose the media channels that they use and trust the most.
HubSpot Tip: When defining your target channels, be sure to focus not only on traditional media like radio and television, but also new media like websites, social media, mobile apps, and podcasts.
Now that you know your goals, objectives, and target audience, design a message that conveys what you want them to hear about your organization. Your key messages are the core ideas that will shape your PR content going forward. Be sure they are designed to be credible and straightforward.
HubSpot Tip: Keep your list of key messages to no more than three.
Once you have determined the strategies, tactics, and activities you will take to implement the PR plan, you should note the resources needed. Resources can include personnel hours, equipment, facilities, and other materials.
Use a table like the one below to outline the resources you will need and how much they will cost.
HubSpot Tip: This section could also be called “Budget.”
Evaluation and Measurement
Evaluation and measurement are crucial to any plan. The evaluation phase gives you an opportunity to find and target areas for improvement going forward.
When designing your evaluation plan, think about what success would look like and how you will know when you reach your stated objectives. Describe how will you document and demonstrate the results of the activities of your plan once they have been completed.
HubSpot Tip: Consider reviewing your PR plan on a regular basis, perhaps quarterly.