Tier one announcements take a lot of work. Whether it’s product related, a new round of funding, a leadership change, or something else entirely, a strong launch PR plan is essential for success. From a PR point of view, creating a plan is crucial for building a compelling narrative, validating the impact, establishing goals and metrics, staying on schedule, and delivering the coverage leadership expects.

But how can you ensure that your PR plan delivers the best results possible? Here are three quick tips to help set you up for success.

1. Identify Your Challenges and Opportunities

Announcements don’t happen in a vacuum. In fact, they absolutely shouldn’t. It’s extremely rare for news to not align with some sort of existing trend. So do your research; generate situational awareness. Get your finger on the pulse of the market. You might find unique challenges you need to consider, or hidden opportunities others have missed. Here are some questions to get you started:

  • Have media covered this topic before? Are they actively covering it? If not, why? If yes, what angles are they taking?
  • What unique elements are missing from existing coverage on this topic? Or how is your news different from the competition (or how is the impact unique)?
  • Is there (or has there been) negative criticism associated with the topic? How do you productively address that?
  • Are there broader narratives happening right now that support or detract from your news? How can you tie in or subvert that?
  • Is there existing data on this topic? Has a standard been set around validating claims? Can you show improvement? Or why the metrics are the wrong metrics?

Often the launch process starts with background information and then a kick-off meeting with key stakeholders. Do this research before that kick-off call. Share what you’ve learned with the team (and the realities of the media landscape). Get their feedback. Then include a summary (preferably in bullet points) in the overview section of your PR plan. It will help justify your recommended tactics.

2. Define Your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Yes, PR is about generating awareness. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have metrics. In fact, I would argue that if you don’t set metrics, you’re not actually making a PR plan at all. Whether the metric is total coverage, number of briefings, top tier business coverage, impact on landing page traffic, total increase in site traffic, share of voice (SOV) or sentiment around a topic…or a combination of them all…find what effectively validates your work with your key stakeholders.

Here’s an example of a solid KPI: secure eight original articles and correlate that work to a 20% spike in website traffic

If increasing website traffic is your ultimate goal, you’ll want to deploy tactics that allow you to include backlinks or calls to action directing readers (or listeners) to your website. This is best accomplished by tapping into Google Analytics and visualizing coverage-to-website traffic correlation.

Check out our free eBook on measurement for more tips. It also helps to have a timeline to measure against your KPIs.

3. Create a Workback Schedule

Pulling off an announcement requires collaboration from multiple stakeholders. Chances are you’ll have to write a press release (or another asset), revise it, get it approved by legal, the c-suite, and the product teams. You’ll need imagery, maybe a demo, a landing page, social posts, possibly a report with validating data, etc. Engineers, developers, GTM teams, spokespeople…they all need to align with the details of the launch.

The bottom line? There are lots of moving parts, and you don’t want a great PR plan derailed by missed deadlines. Adding a workback schedule (ideal and realistic) to your PR plan helps keep all stakeholders aligned and accountable for their role in the big picture – getting the announcement out on time.

Creating this schedule can sometimes be as simple as a shared Google Doc, or big milestones in the master marketing or PR plan. It can also be a project in collaboration and productivity tools like Asana. Try not to reinvent the wheel – adapt and assimilate into existing processes and platforms.

These are just three initial tips to get you started on your PR plan journey. There are lots of other elements to consider. But by starting with a great plan, it empowers you and the team to react effectively to changes and bumps in the road. If you’re looking for even more support, let’s chat.