Illustration of two people talking with different colored speech bubbles and a lightbulb in between them. Creating a PR strategy for 2023 blog post.

How to Create a PR Strategy in 2023

TJ Kiely

Nov 30, 2022

A well-planned PR strategy can be one of the fastest ways to grow brand recognition. Rather than publishing content and crossing your fingers, you have an action plan to help you reach specific goals. With good PR, you can influence buying behaviors and consumer sentiment, cut through the noise, and position your brand in the right light.

If you took the time to develop a PR strategy last year, you already have a good place to start. But don’t simply roll it over to 2023. You’ll need to update your PR strategy to fit today’s climate of buyers, competitors, and technology.

And if you are brand new to creating PR strategies, you’re in luck! We’re going through the process, step by step, to help you get a jump on planning.

Consider this guide your PR strategy template for success.

Table of Contents:

Why Is a Good PR Strategy So Important?

Public relations infographic.

Let’s start with the basics. Why is a PR strategy so important?

The simple answer: PR doesn’t always happen automatically. Yes, people are likely talking about your brand and products. And yes, there’s a chance that news media outlets might cover what your company is doing without you pitching them.

But when you create public relations strategies, you’re taking control over how you appear to your audience and the media. You become the driver of the conversation, not just a passive participant.

PR strategies give you direction. They serve as a blueprint to what and how you want to share your company with the outside world.

For example, let’s say you’re planning to launch a new product in 2023. How will you spread the word? There's marketing, of course. But some good PR can also generate interest from the right people. It can also help you increase your reach beyond your own channels.

Or, let’s say something drastic happens, like a recall. Recalls require immediate action. You can’t take your time developing a PR strategy for handling the fallout. Rather, you’ll need to have a plan already in place.

When issues or opportunities arise, refer back to your strategy to move forward with confidence.

How to Create a PR Plan for 2023 - PR Strategy Template

Creating a PR calendar.

Now that you know the why behind creating a PR plan, let’s go through the motions. What does it really take to develop a solid PR strategy for 2023?

We’ve found that having a PR strategy template helps brands to stay on task and check all the boxes. Save this guide and refer back to it as you’re developing your PR plan.

To get more tips on how to build your PR strategy for 2023, check out our Ultimate Guide to PR.

Identify PR Needs

Start your new PR strategy by reviewing the previous year’s PR activities. What did your strategy look like? Did you notice any gaping holes that went unaddressed?

If you don’t have a specific PR strategy to go by, you can simply look at how your company appeared in the media. Who were you pitching? Where were you featured? Did you receive positive coverage or negative coverage (or both)?

If you used any metrics to measure your PR success, use that data to benchmark your performance. For example, many PR professionals measure the number of media mentions and target audience reach.

To accurately measure the number of media mentions you receive, a media monitoring solution can help you quickly surface mentions across online news, social media, radio, and broadcast.

Now is also a good time to identify new PR needs. For example, if your company has grown in the last year, you might need to add some people to your PR team. Or, if a new competitor has emerged, you might need to start monitoring their social media and mentions.

Define Clear PR Goals

A drawing of a mountain with an arrow leading to the top where there is another drawing of a red flag that a man is holding. The image symbolizes the immensly difficult route PR teams must treavel to reacging success with their PR plans.Race up a mountain.

Effective public relations hinges on clearly defined goals. Without an objective, you have no way of knowing if your efforts are paying off.

What exactly do you want to achieve with public relations?

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Grow your social media following
  • Improve communication with your audience
  • Getting published in a specific outlet
  • Increase positive customer sentiment
  • Fix a damaged reputation
  • Leverage content marketing
  • Use influencer marketing
  • Create interest in the job market

For more, check out our list of the 14 proven PR KPIs that matter.

A public relations strategy can help you achieve all of the above and more. Your goals can also relate to your PR planning from 2022. Think about what you want to change or improve to make your efforts even better in 2023.

Put your goals on paper so you can refer back to them in the next steps.

Find Your PR Market

Bullseye that it comprised of a large group of people.

Your PR market includes all the journalists and media sources with whom you have connections. Growing your media relations should be part of your plan so that you have more opportunities to get mentioned.

To find your PR market, think about your target audience. Where do they go to find information? What news sources, blogs, or publications do they read? Are they on social media?

When you know your target market well, they will lead you to the types of publications you need to pitch.

You can also hire press distribution services to pitch multiple relevant outlets on your behalf. This takes the time and guesswork out of the equation so you can focus more of your resources on messaging.

Choose the Right PR Tools

You could have some of the best digital PR ideas in the world. The most beautiful copy. Original, well-branded imagery. A solid media plan.

But without the right tools, your target audience may never see all your hard work come to life.

When choosing PR tools, think first about the tactics you will use. This is the stuff that makes PR fun — events, social media, guest blogs, influencer marketing, and content marketing, for example.

Then, choose PR tools that will make executing each tactic easier and more effective. For example, if you’re focusing on press releases, then you might invest in a media relations service like Meltwater or a social media monitoring solution.

Or, if you’re doubling down on social media, you might invest in social listening tools. This helps you keep tabs on conversations and brand mentions. Compile data from multiple channels in a 360-degree view.

Strategize with Intent

PR representative speaking to the media at a press conference

Good PR takes more than going through the motions. You need to be intentional about your actions if you want to move the needle.

Every tactic you use should tie back to an objective. For example, if you are pitching Blogger A, think about why you chose that blogger. What value can they bring to your brand? What exactly do you want to share with their audience?

Intentional PR spills over into other areas outside of PR, too. More and more, we’re seeing PR being combined with marketing. There’s a good reason for this. Just like PR, marketing is designed to influence behaviors, sentiments, and actions.

Marketing and PR need to be in alignment when it comes to generating publicity. Both sides need to understand the purpose that content and media mentions serve in your business. From there, you can better decide how to use those opportunities.

Choose Your Metrics for Success

Charts and graphs appearing as a hologram above a tablet device that a man is holding out in front of hime. The graphs and charts could releate to metrics like number of overall brand mentions or sentiment that PR departments are tracking.

All well-designed PR campaigns and strategies include metrics. After all your hard work, you deserve to know your efforts paid off.

The metrics you track should also tie back to your tactics, objectives, and goals. For example, if your PR campaigns go all-in on social media, you should track mentions, new follower count, comments, shares, and post reach.

If you’re pitching press releases, then you might keep count of how many outlets publish you.

Some other general PR metrics to include are:

  • Website traffic changes
  • Organic media mentions
  • Website bounce rate
  • Word-of-mouth mentions
  • Audience sentiment analysis
  • Conversion rates
  • New client count
  • Improvements in search rankings
  • Email subscriber growth
  • Email click-through rates
  • Stakeholder satisfaction

You can’t measure what you don’t track. Likewise, it’s not prudent to try to track and measure everything. It’s time-consuming to collect that data. Plus, you’ll have lots more to analyze and make sense of. Pick out the most important pieces and run with them.

How to Optimize Press Relationships with Good PR Planning

Developing PR campaigns and strategies requires a great deal of focused intent. Using a template like the one we laid out above gives you a strong foundation for your PR planning.

At Meltwater, we’re all about working smarter, not harder. We know it’s easy to get lost in the details of PR planning. That’s why we recommend finding ways to optimize press and other PR opportunities. Once you have an “in,” stretch it as far as it will go. One opportunity can easily turn into several separate pieces of content or mentions.

Plus, you can find ways to repurpose your content to reach even more of your target audience. For example, once a press release is published, make sure you share it on social media and your email newsletter.

You can also optimize press relationships to help you gain even more recognition. Maintain good communication with reporters, bloggers, and influencers that agree to promote you. The stronger your connections, the more willing they may be to work with you again. And that means less work for you in chasing down new places to publish you!

For all things PR, Meltwater has you covered with technology, tools, and PR expertise. Contact us today to learn more.