Want to influence clients, potential employees or the local community?
1. Decide what audience you are trying to influence: clients, potential employees or the local community.
2. Clarify your objectives; most financial services PR aims to build a reputation with clients and increase awareness of the firm, products and services.
3. Establish your timescales and budget; consider alternatives (advertising, for example), particularly for short-term objectives.
4. Decide who will be responsible for PR; establish how other employees should deal with press enquiries.
5. Consider whether you should involve a PR agency, particularly if you have a budget or want exposure in national media.
6. Provide any necessary training in producing effective press releases and handling the media.
7. Identify media which reach your audience and which are likely to give you coverage (e.g. local press, trade journals, online and off).
8. Investigate their requirements: the types of story they cover, their style, and their publication deadlines.
9. Identify contacts and build relationships: for example, inviting them to events or offering to provide useful industry information.
10. Plan a sustained flow of press releases and other PR initiatives over a period of months or even years; do not expect immediate results.
11. Identify any natural opportunities for PR: for example, product launches, new premises, milestone events.
12. Consider creating PR opportunities: for example, holding an open day, seminar, commissioning a survey, running a competition or sponsorship.
13. Investigate other opportunities, such as submitting articles or letters for publication, supporting local events, or offering yourself as a public speaker.