A PR template? – there’s no such thing

Here at RDZ HQ we are often asked to summarise what a good PR plan should look like.

Well, that’s not an easy thing to summarise as it will be different for every business.  There aren’t even many common points within a specific industry or business size.  The PR plan is really quite personal, and it will depend on factors which are very unique to the business and its owners / Board / senior management team.

So, rather than make this the shortest blog ever and leave our reader(s) wanting, we thought it might be of more use to highlight what considerations should be made in putting a PR plan together and emphasise what factors are of utmost importance.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, an initial meeting (or in some cases series of meetings) should be held to discuss the real ‘wins’ (otherwise known as Campaign Objectives) which the business wishes to achieve through their PR strategy.  For some it may simply be the generation of new business, for others an increased market share.  Examples of less obvious objectives which we have worked with include greater visibility amongst their peer group and increased attractiveness to high calibre potential recruits (including the cream of the graduate stream in any given year).  At RDZ we vey much believe in transparency and we are happy to review our performance throughout our working relationship with clients and this is why the setting – and understanding – of true objectives at the very beginning of the journey is essential.

Another critical factor in the ‘foundation stage’ of a PR strategy is achieving buy-in from each one of the stakeholders who will be involved.  Yes, RDZ will be doing the majority of the work on the PR plan (and the day-to-day stuff, so that our clients can focus on their actual business) but there will be tasks and input required from members of the team and those totally opposed to the occasional bit of social media posting, or even just approving, may inadvertently cause a loss of momentum.

Any good PR plan will also include set periods of review and diarised meeting of all key personnel involved.  Sticking to the dates agreed is not always easy, but every effort should be made to have those diary dates as ‘immovable’ as possible.  There will, of course, be flexibility but if the ‘PR review appointment’ becomes the floating date on everyone’s calendar then the necessary tweaks to strategy can be missed and render the campaign less effective than it might otherwise have been.

We’re slightly nervous to say that ‘patience’ is an important ingredient in PR planning, but it actually is.  This isn’t a way for us to generate excuses, but rather is born of experience.  A three month PR plan is very unlikely to produce desired effects but a 12 month overall plan with three month ‘mini campaigns’ embedded stands a far better chance of delivering on the original objectives.

So, for those speed-readers amongst our audience, let us summarise the four key considerations which should form the basis of a PR plan:

  1. Establishing true ‘wins’ (Campaign Objectives)
  2. Ensuring buy-in to the strategy from all stake holders
  3. Setting scheduled, regular, strictly adhered to review meetings
  4. Application of patience and understanding of realistic timeframes


And finally… apologies to those who expected an actual template into which you could simply place your company name and goals and magically achieve your PR wishes – no such document exists!!


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Rachel Hargrave

Rachel has over 30 years of local, regional, national and international communications experience and expertise across a wide variety of clients including FTSE 100 companies, SMEs, micro businesses and start-ups. She also has extensive charity, Not-For-Profit and Community Interest Company experience and happily offers clients working in these areas a 50% discount on all RDZ PR rates.

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Rachel provided us with a day of free support in association with the LLEP programme. Despite it being ‘free’ Rachels support was professional and dedicated. We received a full day of practical support including a discussion to fully understand our organisation, an assessment of our need, the production of a communications and marketing plan that was realistic, manageable and practical aimed at helping us move ahead on the communications front and, ultimately, with our organisational objectives. Rachel achieved so much in the time she had including writing and issuing a press release that appeared in the Leicester Mercury, wording for our website homepage and a letter to go with our membership pack. She also shared her hints and tips about social media, her press contacts and she connected me with a potential Reaching People member! In all it was an invaluable experience. Thank you, Rachel for giving up your time to help us.

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I was introduced to Rachel by an executive coach. My requirements were to provide quality, simple to understand content to engage with my target market and generate new customer enquiries in health and wellbeing. From my first discussion with Rachel, it was clear that she had the skills and empathy to provide a service to support the growth of my business. Rachel’s content writing and editing is very effective and her diligence ensures the right message is articulated. It is no surprise to me she has a strong track record of helping entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes support their growth. Aside from her professional competencies, Rachel genuinely cares about people and working with her allows you to focus on your core business. For those who are new to building their own business or employed by a large corporate, you will get value and authenticity from Rachel’s content and PR services.

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I met with Rachel and was instantly impressed with her warmth, enthusiasm and ability to understand the key issues being faced. She took time to clarity objectives and the key tasks required. A quick study she was able to pinpoint the brand tone of voice accurately. Rachel’s’ copy writing skills have been excellent. She has written for my business website, advertorial pages in lifestyle magazine and has also written first class responses to awards entries which are curtailed in length. Rachel is just really, really good!

Victoria Curtis, Company Secretary, Mono Roofing Ltd

Rachel came to provide our company with an appraisal for the company PR, and we learnt an awful lot! Rachel taught us how to make the most of our marketing and advertising and how to make it work for us, to get the client’s we really want. Rachel has provided our company with a plan to follow, and we are gradually implementing these procedures, and we know that in doing so, it will really raise the profile of our company and get us the work we want. I would definitely recommend Rachel to manage your company’s PR.

Trusha Lakhani, MD, Great Business Matters t/a Trusha Lakhani

Rachel Hargrave is one of the best PR experts that I have met. She not only understands the best awards for her clients but also how to make the most of the opportunity for the client’s personality. Put simply Rachel gets people. She understands her clients and their goals and is with you all the way. I highly recommend Rachel Hargrave and The Awards people and RDZ PR.

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Mark Esho MBE, Easy Internet Services, Easy Internet Solutions, Dreme, Access Rating CIC

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