PR forecasting can be a tricky beast

The start of any year brings day after day of expert predictions about anything and everything – from food, finances, and property to politics, fashion, even nail polish colours.

How often have you read that 2015 is either going to bring back the economic good times or actually, no we’ll all be rooned?

Everyone has an opinion and, increasingly these days, is not afraid to share it.

The same goes in PR land.

No two public relations agencies are the same, no two operators are the same, and there is a vast range of opinions about the best way to attract and maintain media attention.

Some agencies adamantly believe that any publicity is good publicity and, when a client’s in crisis, the old ‘no comment’ is the best response.

Other agencies, like Sequel, firmly believe that ‘news’ should be in the public interest and have a positive impact on our client.

We would much rather pitch a media story which supports a client’s bottom line than just stroke the CEO’s ego with a story about how fabulous he/she is. And I’d much rather tackle a PR crisis head-on than sit back and hope it goes away.

The trick to getting the right balance is in creative planning – mapping out what your proactive PR will look like over the next 6 to 12 months but leaving enough wriggle room to deal with anything unexpected or last minute.

PR plans should be fluid but give you a clear indication of the volume of work, which media and what audiences are being targeted, and over what timeframe. They definitely should not be a “finger in the air, hope for the best” strategy.

So, when you’re considering PR, throw away the crystal ball.

Ask your PR team to explain the potential business outcomes, what’s the thinking behind the strategy, and, most importantly, have you got the expert resources to get great results?

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