Develop a PR Plan
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HOW TO BE A MEDIA SLUT Spring 2003/The Harvey Milk Institute Instructor: Gretchen Lee WORKSHEET: Get Organized! Develop a PR Plan Step 1: State your goals Overall (increase # of tickets sold, create a buzz to boost fundraising, etc.) Long term, over the next year (i.e., send out one press release each quarter; get feature articles in 2 of 10 top-tier target publications) Short term, in the next three months or so (i.e., finalize a press kit, get calendar listings in 5 of 10 target publications) Step 2: Identify your audience Make a list of the types of people interested in your work — this is your target audience. Make a list of the newspapers, magazines, web sites, television and radio programs where your target audience tunes in — these are your target publications. Step 3: Make a list of your target media Target list should include accessible publications and media that reach your target audience (Use the Bacon’s directories, if necessary, and make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with the publication by reading it before you pitch them.) Create a spreadsheet or otherwise list these contacts in a format that leaves room for you to make notes as you have various contacts with editors and writers. Identify approximately 1/3 as your top-tier publications and media outlets: These will be the publications where you focus more than half of your attention. Step 4: Identify Your Opportunities Make a list of the opportunities during the coming year when you most want media attention, i.e., gallery openings, film screenings, fundraising events, etc. Step 5: Pick Your Tools Identify which PR communications tools (i.e., calendar listing, media alert, press release, press kit) is best suited to each of your opportunities listed in Step 4. Step 6: Match ‘em Up Match each item on your opportunities list to the publications in your target list. Think of which media outlet would be interested in receiving news of each of these events. Step 7: Mark Your Calendar Working backwards, identify tasks associated with generating publicity for each of your media opportunities. For example, you may want calendar listings in advance of your show or fundraiser. Consider the target publication’s lead time and make a note in your plan as to when you need to send out calendar listings. Likewise, if you’re hoping to trigger a feature story in a national magazine in conjunction with your film’s release, make a note of when you need to send screener tapes to the publication and when you might want to follow up w/ a phone call or email. Create a “tickle file” calendar for yourself that identifies specific tasks for particular dates. (For example: Nov. 5: Finalize November 10 press release; Or: November16: Make follow-up phone calls to unconfirmed media guests at gala event.) Step 9: Work It, Girl! Set to work sending out press materials, schmoozing and following up with editors, arranging media events, etc. Step 10: Do It All Over Again At regular intervals, re-examine your plan. Have you met your goals? If you haven’t been meeting your goals, ask yourself why. Are your goals too hard? Have you been following your plan? If not, why not? If you have met your goals, it’s time to set new ones, building on the relationships you’ve already developed and reaching for new opportunities as they arise.