An Indispensable PR Planning Checklist for the Fall

Aug 17, 2015 | Public Relations, Social Media Tips


After months of warmer weather, beaches, and BBQs, it’s time to gear up for fall. Are you ready? As August draws to a close, it’s the perfect time to start putting together a PR and marketing plan that will help to garner buzz and media attention for your business or organization during busy back-to-school and holiday times.

This handy checklist will help you to get organized so that you don’t miss out on important marketing and PR opportunities as we head into the cooler months.

  • Establish your goals and objectives. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you get there? Jot down what you’d like to accomplish in 3, 6, 9 and 12 month intervals along with the metrics you’ll use to measure results. Metrics can include things like social media engagement and media hits in key target publications.
  • Develop key messaging. How do you convey your brand? What do you want to say about your business and how will you say it? Get it down on paper, refine, test, refine some more. You get the idea.
  • Create social media calendar. This should incorporate clever ideas that tie into upcoming holidays and events such as back-to-school shopping, Halloween, sporting events, major news stories, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hannukah, winter travel, etc.
  • Schedule social media campaigns. Whether you’re planning and end-of-year giving campaign, contests, giveaways, or a new product launch, you’ll want to plan as far in advance as possible. Please, don’t wait until the last minute. Download our free social media campaign planner here.
  • Create a news release calendar. Determine how often and when you’ll send out press releases, along with a general idea of what each release will cover. While you’re at it, look into release distribution services such as PR Newswire and PR Web to figure out which one suits your budget and needs the best.
  • Research speaking opportunities. Conferences, trade shows, and webinars can be a valuable part of your PR mix. Seek out speaking engagements for your principals and other subject-matter experts within your organization as far in advance as possible.
  • Update your media database. Is your media contact list up-to-date? Now’s a good time to do research and double-check contacts. Your list should contain the contact details of the publications and journalists that pertain to your industry as well as the beat each journalist or blogger covers. 
  • Gather editorial calendars. The backbone of any publication, an editorial calendar will give you insight into upcoming themes and special issues so that you can plan your pitches accordingly. Note that most print magazines have deadlines several months ahead of their publication dates. You can research magazines individually or subscribe to a service like Cision, which will give you access to multiple editorial calendars for a fee.

Not sure how to take PR and marketing to the next level? Need a kick ass team to get your PR plan underway? Contact us for more information.


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