PR Plan for #1 Client: You

If you can’t do PR for yourself, you really shouldn’t be in PR.   Here is a simple public relations plan template adapted to help you achieve your professional aspirations.  Follow these steps for success!

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Ordinarily when creating a public relations plan you should first conduct research. However, for your own plan, your professional aspirations (goal) are a great place to start.

OBJECTIVE(s)

What is your objective?   I.e. what is your dream job/career/company?

RESEARCH

Do you possess a realistic view of your capabilities?

  1. Create a personal SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to create an honest assessment of your skills, abilities, challenges and possibilities.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What do you do best?  What leisure activities do you like?  Why?
  2. What types of media, shows, books, etc. are you drawn to? Why?
    • Think about these things to help narrow your area of interest (food, travel, consumer, financial, government, fashion, entertainment, environmental, music, sports, etc.)
  3. What parts of a job are important to you? Salary? Meaningful Work? Power? Leadership? Travel?

These answers should help you identify the type of setting to pursue (large/small agency, corporate, non-profit, etc.)

TARGET AUDIENCES

Identify specific companies, employers and executives.  Most great jobs are not posted or published.

  1. Determine employers and companies that might be ideal venues to build your professional portfolio and credentials.
    • There are hundreds of great companies out there seeking talented professionals…it is your job to find them.
    • With the web and some investigating skills you should have no trouble finding names, email addresses, etc. of those professionals for whom you wish to work (Linked-in, corporate blogs, trade media….a phone call to the company receptionist works too!)

STRATEGIES  / TACTICS

How will you go about achieving the career choice you desire?  This should be a five-year plan of the steps to take to move towards your ultimate goal.  Describe this in detail.

  1. How will your education help with your career choices?
    1. Internships?  Professor mentors? Career advisement center? Alumni network?
    2. Utilize these resources to define and develop a network of possible references, leads and resources.
  2. What associations will you join?  Will you start a blog? Will you volunteer or work part-time?  Will you go to graduate school?  Do you need to take a class in a technical or professional area to build your credentials?
    • Subscribe to RSS feeds, blogs or Twitter accounts of key target companies and those of their managers and executives
  3. Join industry specific social networking associations, pages and groups (Linked-In, Twitter, PRSA, etc.)
    • How will you maintain or contribute to these sites?  What is your focus? Always consider your purpose: your career aspirations.
  4. Subscribe to the free job industry news alerts and corporate and agency career centers

KEY MESSAGES

Think carefully about what makes you a star professional.  Utilize available career and professional association mentors and web sites to hone resumes, cover letters, interview techniques, etc.

  1. Resume: Is your customized resume featuring examples of relevant experience, achievement, leadership and using error-free, action-oriented language?
  2. Cover letter: Do you have a well-crafted cover letter with relevant highlights that make you an ideal candidate and show your understanding of the position and company?
  3. Interviews: Have you done real or mock interviews with friends, a mentor or family member?

TIMELINE

  1. Set realistic goals for yourself and be consistent in your efforts.
  2. What is your outreach/follow up strategy? Linked-In outreach? Email? Networking events?
  3. Create a schedule and grid to manage your time as you execute your plan. Your timeline might incorporate deadlines for your tactical outreach such as:
    • a weekly editorial calendar for your blog
    • monthly comments to executive Tweets
    • outreach to new corporate prospects
    • attendance at professional development networking events

EVALUATION

Your success is directly linked to your talent, experience, ambition and work-ethic.  I always tell my students and colleagues: if you can’t create and execute an effective public relations campaign for yourself, perhaps this isn’t the right career for you!

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