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!
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.
What is your objective? I.e. what is your dream job/career/company?
Do you possess a realistic view of your capabilities?
- 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:
- What do you do best? What leisure activities do you like? Why?
- 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.)
- 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.)
Identify specific companies, employers and executives. Most great jobs are not posted or published.
- 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.
- How will your education help with your career choices?
- Internships? Professor mentors? Career advisement center? Alumni network?
- Utilize these resources to define and develop a network of possible references, leads and resources.
- 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
- 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.
- Subscribe to the free job industry news alerts and corporate and agency career centers
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.
- Resume: Is your customized resume featuring examples of relevant experience, achievement, leadership and using error-free, action-oriented language?
- 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?
- Interviews: Have you done real or mock interviews with friends, a mentor or family member?
- Set realistic goals for yourself and be consistent in your efforts.
- What is your outreach/follow up strategy? Linked-In outreach? Email? Networking events?
- 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
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!