Public relations can make or break your business no matter what industry you’re in. That’s why having a good PR strategy is essential. That being said, it can be challenging to know if you’re doing PR right. Are you spending too much or too little on your strategy? No matter which concern you have, there are effective ways to budget for a more efficient PR strategy.
Start by reviewing your strategy
To get started, look at what and how you’re spending money on PR. Determine if you think it’s been helping your company. Have areas where you’ve spent funds improved your relationship with your stakeholders and the community?
Then, look at your company as a whole. Do you see any areas where you could improve your PR strategy? There may be areas where you feel like your relationship management is falling short. Or you may see areas that could turn into potential PR nightmares if not taken care of now. These are the areas you should be spending money on.
Determine your budget
At this point, it’s important to determine your budget. Having a better understanding of where you’ve spent money, what’s worked, and where you need to spend money will help you understand what’s necessary in a future budget. How big any weaknesses are will help you understand if you need to spend more or spend less right now. Even if you’ve determined to spend less now, you still need to have cash on hand for later down the road.
Investing in your strategy
What happens if you feel you do need to spend more but don’t have funds available to invest in your strategy? There are options that will allow you to spend some money upfront and then pay the debt when needed. If you feel you’re spending more than necessary, it may be beneficial to withhold funds in case you need them later.
A secured credit card can be extremely beneficial in these instances. If you don’t need to spend money on PR right now, but may need to later, you can take that money you would be spending now and invest it in yourself. Then it’s there, when you’re ready and need it.
How to know when to spend on PR
How do you know what’s the right time to invest in different elements of your PR strategy? If you’re not dealing with many relationship-related concerns, then it might be time to invest in maintaining the status quo. Pull back on your spending, but think of investing in your relationship, rather than putting out fires.
Investing in or sponsoring a cause is a great option during these times. This sort of strategy can be implemented on a local community, national or global level. Giving back to a good cause can help your company stand strong if you do get hit by negative PR later down the road.
Dealing with negative PR
When you do get hit with negative PR, it’s time to switch gears. This is the time when any money you’ve saved for later down the road will come in handy. When something negative happens, identify the issue and plan out a direct path to overcome it.
Depending on what the issue is, your path will be different. Different concerns will take different amounts of cash. That’s why it’s good to have some cash in savings, just in case something happens.
In PR storms, it’s important to act quickly, but also to be patient. It may take time for the public to forget. Investing in areas that will help you regain public trust takes time, so pace yourself and budget accordingly.
Also remember that one negative event often sets off others, so be prepared for this potential chain reaction and make sure you’re budgeted for multiple potential crises at once. Best case scenario, you only get hit with one storm, but you need to be prepared for many.
Public relations is important no matter what field your business is in, so make sure you’ve strategized and budgeted accordingly.