The Art of Making a Plan

Chaittali Dave, Nucleus PR 

Chaittali Dave, Nucleus PR
The three most important things that comprise a successful and impactful PR plan are Planning, Communication and Execution. Planning is a critical element of the plan to ensure everything is in place including communication objectives as well as the strategies and methodologies that will be used to achieve those objectives and target.
Proper planning is crucial and determines the success or failure of a campaign. Make sure that your PR plan is to the point and relevant to the client and industry that you are pitching for. A plan helps not only maintain self-discipline but also serves as an excellent informational tool. Each successive step in the planning process sharpens the focus on how the organization operates and where it’s going, as well as clarifying public relations’ role in that operation.
Below are broad pointers that you need to keep in mind while putting together an effective PR plan
Choose a plan format that is relevant !
Brief: THE most important part before making a plan is to have a proper brief from the client. This will cover what activities they wish to do, what is their expectation and what is their budget based, on which you can make a plan. Taking the brief in person is a great idea! It helps you get a feel of the person and the company and elements that the client might not think necessary while putting down a written brief.
Brain storm – It plays a vital role before you make a plan. Make sure you not only brainstorm with your office colleagues but also with the client team. This will help in making your plan more impactful and communicate more effectively even before you have submitted a plan.

Right Communication As communication experts you need to make sure that the content right! The plan serves a dual purpose of showcasing your best ideas and also your expertise with each slide. The manner, tone and treatment of each slide presentation is an opportunity for you to showcase your skill and knowledge.

Deliverables The Achilles heel of every PR professional. The client today is savvy and also aware of the changing phases that media is going through. A good client will pride him/herself on the same. So take the opportunity to be at par with them on the knowledge and carve out deliverables that are relevant and realistic. The client will appreciate and respect a PR professional who gives them a realistic picture rather than one who promises them the sun and the moon while pitching and when it comes to execution… leaves them on planet earth ! Unrealistic expectations set the stage for massive disappointments and altercations on both ends. 
Cost – The biggest bone of contention between the client and PR agency. Once, you have a thorough understanding of the brief, it is imperative that you also get clarity on the cost and the budget. This ensures that you tailor make your plan. This is one aspect you should be crystal clear about especially when it comes to the Out of Pocket expenses. Always make sure that the cost estimate gives you the scope of negotiating.
Format–  Choose a format (word doc or excel or power point) which is best suited to the industry and individual client representative at hand. If you are aiming for the individual then make sure that the person is the decision maker.
Presentation- Once you have the above in place how you present your plan can have a huge impact on whether you win the pitch or not. Yes, power point verbose slides are one way to go. But if you are there in person, use the opportunity to showcase to the client your oration and communication skills. Use your creativity and originality to move away from tried and tested methods so that they sit up and take notice of you.


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