With planning season in full-swing, you will soon be submitting your public relations budget for 2016. It might be easy to base the budget off the most tangible or obvious PR needs anticipated in the new year, such as a product launch or tradeshow support. But to fully utilize PR support, consider the benefits of having an annual PR budget.
Despite what you may think, a yearly budget does not require dramatically higher spend (than a project-based budget) and an overwhelming planning process. It is also not necessary to have constant streams of product launches or trade show events. With an annual PR budget, your company can strategically seek out proactive opportunities resulting in increased coverage, which further builds recognition, leading to an improved return on investment. Simply put, with a strategic plan in place, you can get more bang for your buck. Here are a few of the ways ongoing PR can benefit your company.
Increase coverage results
I recently picked up a manufacturing trade publication, as I often do to keep up on recent industry happenings and trends. And I came across an article featuring some of the top thought leaders on a topic my client (who will remain unnamed) had spent many dollars preparing and issuing a press release for three months prior. Because a lot of publications run on a set editorial calendar, when the press release was issued, the articles sources had already been secured. By building out an annual PR budget, clients are able to take advantage of editorial opportunities throughout the year and insert themselves in more conversations.
Although each client has a different PR goal, in general they want to gain recognition that positively impacts sales. But the old idiom, “Out of sight, out of mind” is true in PR. Continuously pursuing opportunities in print and keeping social media sites active help keep your product and company top of mind. This isn’t just true for customers, but also for editors seeking out thought leaders for articles. For example, our healthcare client Stryker ProCare published six bylined articles within a two year span (exceeding our goal). Because they were constantly seen in the press, publications and editors have reached out directly to Stryker ProCare for comments on articles, further increasing their coverage opportunities.
In healthcare and manufacturing, it is very important that the PR plan constantly evolves with the changing industry landscape. Learning the industry specific to each client and keeping current media contacts and relationships takes time. And time is money. Literally. With an annual PR budget, it reduces gaps in industry monitoring and media relationships, which also reduces time.
Wherever your PR goals land for the upcoming year, it is important to recognize the value of an annual PR budget. Not only does it have the potential to improve coverage and company recognition, but it can actually save you money. And who doesn’t like getting a good bang for their buck?