Laura Sutherland: 10 steps to a successful public relations recipe

Laura Sutherland of Aura PR. Image credits: Martin Shields Photograhy
Laura Sutherland of Aura PR. Image credits: Martin Shields Photograhy

Over the fifteen years I’ve worked in PR, I’ve developed Aura PR’s own recipe for working with clients, from the outset to the evaluation.

PR practitioners, in-house and agency, need to have some sort of method to their working and this is ours. Aligning the strategy with the business objectives is the most crucial aspect of any PR strategy. Making activity measurable ensures you can demonstrate the impact of your work.

1. Communications audit

On appointment, we conduct a comms audit, reviewing all the current comms channels. This shows us trends and potentially what’s not working

2. Audience and platform research

We get clients to share their platforms such as Google Analytics, MailChimp, Twitter, Facebook etc so that we can review stats and data. The analytics will be able to show us further trends, behaviours and will go a long way to helping inform the strategy going forward

3. Group discussions

If appropriate, we hold discussions with different groups of people, to gain insight and ensure they are part of the process. Stakeholders, staff and customers can form part of this research.

4. Mapping

We map customer journeys with brands and their different touch points – this can help identify drop offs and areas of improvement

5. Sharing

We share our knowledge and proposals with our clients, ensuring they are fully involved at every opportunity

6. Modern workflow development

We get to work on developing a workflow (This can look as fancy or as simple as you like. We prefer the simple look so it’s quick and easy to understand)

We particularly love this Coca-Cola video – it’s what their marketing agency presented to them for engaging with Coca-Cola employees about the new content marketing strategy. If only I could draw like that!

I would highly recommend you read #PRstack – a crowdsourced tool for modern PR tools and workflow. It has a list of 250+ tools which can help you develop workflow amongst many other things.

7. Sign off and launch

After the client has approved the strategy, workflow and timings, it’s important to the launch this to the client’s wider internal team, ensuring they know what’s happening and when.

8. Monitor and tweak

After you’ve launched and the new strategy is underway, it’s important to monitor activity and impact. There’s always room for improvement!

9. KPIs

At the start, in your brief, you’ll have used KPIs to align the strategy and as benchmarks for measuring the impact of your activity. Remember to keep reviewing them – things don’t always stand still!

10. PR activity evaluation

Finally! You’ve completed your campaign or project and you’re now ready to evaluate the effectiveness of your work. Remember, it’s not all about output, it’s about the impact of your output and what outcomes have been achieved! Here’s how we work to evaluate all our PR and social media activity.

If you’ve got any feedback or comments on how we can improve the Aura recipe, please get in touch! If you found the post useful please share it with your network.

Laura Sutherland is runs Aura PR and is the founder of #PRFest

She is an independent, Chartered PR practitioner and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

She has 15 years’ experience in public relations, events and communications working across a variety of sectors. From luxury automotive brands and global manufacturing to high street fashion, design and culture, Laura’s exciting career has taken her across different sectors and indeed countries.