If you are serious about growing your audience, building your reputation and turning your blog into a business, then the first step is to think about your blog as a business. How are you going to promote your blog articles, your videos, panel appearances so that they help you grow your influence? A PR plan outlines exactly how you plan to get the word out about your work, and it's easier to put one together than you might think.
A well-crafted public relations plan establishes goals, measureable objectives, strategies and supporting tactics to keep you track. While each fashion PR publicist/agency tends to have her own unique way to putting a PR plan together, the components are similar. The following series of steps provide an easy-to-use outline to customize your own PR plan for your blog.
First, outline your BHABG and get clear about what are the big goals you want to achieve with your blog. Then go through the following exercises:
- Where does your blog fit in the marketplace? Who is your target reader and what does she care about? What are your competitors doing? What brands, publications and events are a fit with your blog's aesthetic? To answer these, it's time to out on your research hat (it's looks great on you, by the way!) and do a little primary and secondary research. Primary research means going out and doing research on your own – a quick survey of current blog readers, (social media is great for this),or manually taking notes about what competitor sites are doing well, what publications and brands have they worked with etc. Secondary research consists of collecting information that has already been published. You might find a New York Times article with a successful blogger, or statistics relevant to consumer purchasing behavior or emerging trends in a publication like AdAge or Women's Wear Daily. Write up your findings in a brief Executive Summary to kick off your plan. This is basically just saying “here's the current landscape as it pertains to my blog.”
- Don’t make the mistake of choosing a target audience that is too broad. One of the biggest mistakes brands and bloggers make is in their attempt to be all things to all people. Not establishing a clear target audience actually does a disservice to your brand. Over the weekend at the iFABBO Conference, Alle Fister, CEO at Bollare, encouraged bloggers to be “directional,” in their blog writing and communication to PR agencies. As you get clear about your audience, you can begin to figure out how to reach her, and what to write that will appeal to her needs, curiosities and passions. This can also be termed, figuring out your niche.
- At the end of every media opportunity, what are the key things you want an editor to know about you and your blog? At your next store opening event, what imformation is most important to share with executives or local media putting a microphone in front of your face. Write down the 3 most important aspects of your blog/brand vision that, assuming they forget everything else, a journalist or reader must understand about you and your blog.
- While goals are general, objectives are specific. Identify the major objectives that you want to accomplish with your PR plan. Make these measurable so they are easy to evaluate. For example, if one of your goals is to become an internationally known fashion blogger, Objective 1 may be to secure 2 stories in international print media publications within the next 6 months.
Strategies & Tactics
- Once you have clear objectives in place, you need to consider what creative strategies you will employ to ensure you successfully meet your objectives. Remember that each strategy should deliver a cohesive message that ties into your objective. For more information on how to write goals, objectives, strategies and tactics (it can get a little confusing) check out How to Write Fashion PR Goals, Objectives, Strategies & Tactics).
- Almost done! The final part of the plan is figuring out how to evaluate the success of the program. This may include media impressions, Facebook page growth or engagement, referral traffic, or even a pre and post survey to determine what your audience knows or loves about your blog. One thing that always helps is to remember to benchmark your current numbers before you begin your program.
- Relationships with media, readers and brands shouldn't end just because the story gets published or the campaign ends. PR is a cumulative process. Continue cultivating any new and existing relationships with editors and brands with regular follow up. Strong relationships establish credibility and will make your job easier the next time around. Keeping in touch has never been so easy in today’s world of technology. A quick email, tweet or mention on a Facebook page can go a long way so stay in touch.
Do you have a PR plan?