public relations goals

Check it Off! The Importance of Goal Setting in your Public Relations Campaign

PR Goal Setting

When you wrote your business plan, you probably set a variety of goals.

But did you set remember to set goals for your public relations campaign?

Writing a successful healthcare public relations plan starts with outlining your PR goals and objectives.

In this article, we will outline what PR goal setting is and share an example of a public relations plan tied to SMART goals.

PR GOAL SETTING 101

In Public Relations, SMART goals keep you focused and motivated to achieve an end goal and desired outcome.

What is a PR goal?

A PR goal is the desired outcome you hope to achieve from distributing key messages about your brand to the media. PR Goals typically include desired results in different forms of traditional and digital media including placement in print publications, digital outlets, podcasts or interviews with the press on national TV.

Staples recently released the results of their small business survey, which showed that the leaders they surveyed were focused on getting results and setting goals. Those goals included increasing revenue, driving profits and gaining more customers. To achieve those goals, 46% of those surveyed said wanted to use promotional marketing techniques to meet their goals.

How to Write PR Goals

Before you can write your PR goals, you first need to spend some time understanding what they are.

How do you set PR goals?

What are the PR goals that you have always wanted to achieve?

  • Do you want to be on the cover of Time Magazine?
  • Do you dream of being a guest on The Doctors?
  • Do you want your practice to be mentioned on Dr. Oz? 

Write down what you want to accomplish in your healthcare public relations campaign.

For example, the goal of your healthcare PR strategy could be to increase your media exposure in the top 10 medical trade publications in dermatology over the next 12 months.

PR Pro tip: Getting featured in healthcare trade publications is a huge win for medical doctors and healthcare professionals if you are looking to build your brand as a doctor! You will often get way more ink in trade outlets than you will in consumer facing outlets.

If you aren’t able to hire a healthcare PR firm, you can also Google Industry name + trade outlets to find relevant trade publications in your industry. For example, Google “plastic surgery trade outlets” or “plastic surgery podcasts” to see what comes up on Page 1 of Google.

Now, it’s time to break down those PR goals even further into PR tactics.

PR Tactics

After defining your business goals, outline your PR campaign tactics to achieve those goals.

Then, break down your press coverage goals into tactical steps such as:

PR PLAN TEMPLATE EXAMPLE:  

PR Goals

  • Market and promote new medical practice
  • Increase exposure/ get my name out there so people know my new practice is open
  • Secure local press and influencer reviews
  • Generate PR worthy ideas to build buzz of new practice

PR Tactics

  • Soft opening
  • Craft press release
  • Pitch media to attend

Target Audience

  • Target commuter audience in Scarsdale, NY

 SMART Objectives for PR Campaigns

Your public relations campaign should have clearly defined goals attached to expected business results. Executing a PR campaign can be overwhelming, but breaking it up into smaller tactics makes it more manageable. Most importantly, these PR goals should be SMART.

What does SMART stand for in PR?

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Action-oriented.
  • Realistic.
  • Time specific.

How to create SMART objectives for PR campaigns

For example, in one year, you may want to double your profits, open a second location or triple your client or patient list. To achieve these SMART PR goals for your business or medical practice, you need to reverse engineer a PR strategy that will help you achieve each of these areas of business growth.

If you want to open a second location or increase clients, earned media can help to achieve these goals. Contact us today to learn how we can get you major press, fast!

PR Pro Tip: Your Business Goals Must Tie Into Your PR Goals

Public Relations SMART Campaign Planning Example

Let’s say that you are a doctor and your healthcare PR goal is to double the size of your practice and appear on the cover of your local newspaper for a new procedure.

Your SMART public relations goals for this month could include the following PR ideas:

  1. Create a Contest: Give away a healthcare makeover to a community member. Entrants will submit essays telling their stories and what they would do if they achieved optimal health.
  2. Contact the Media: The media loves feel-good stories. Write a press release and announce your contest. Offer the media a chance to follow the winner from before to the ‘after’.
  3. Organize a Big Reveal: Create an event to announce the winner and invite the media to attend. Create another event for the big reveal.
  4. Network: Attend a local Chamber event each month where you offer to speak, provide tips, or be a guest on a local radio show.
  5. Tweet, Instagram or Facebook: Get active on social media and let people know about your practice. Give out tips, share links to healthcare advice and post before and after pictures of the makeover contest winner (with consent of course). If you can’t do all of this yourself, your goal this month should be to hire a healthcare social media consultant who can.

Setting Measurable Public Relations Objectives

If you’ve accomplished your PR campaign goals to increase earned media exposure for your medical practice, the community should begin to chatter about the contest and entries should come pouring in. The media will hopefully contact you for an article and you may even land a feature interview in the local newspaper. Finally, after seeing the transformation in the winner, potential patients will call to book a consultation with you- showing a direct lead conversion. Make sure that your monthly efforts continue to push you towards accomplishing your PR goals.

Goals & Objectives in PR Campaigns Key Takeaways:

  • Setting goals is vital to achieving success in business and in PR.
  • What can’t be measured, can’t be managed!

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONSULTING

If you have set measurable public relations objectives and you still aren’t seeing results from your campaign execution, it may be time to call a PR firm for a PR strategy audit. Contact us today for a strategy consultation to realign your PR campaign and get it moving in the right direction for maximum results!