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Creating a Media Plan  

A Media Plan in public relations is too big a topic to discuss in a short article like this, but let's hit a few high notes.

Once you determine WHY you are doing a media plan, WHO the target audience is, WHAT media outlets that audience uses, and WHERE you are going to target, then to organize your plan, try using a MEDIA TIMETABLE.

Make a spreadsheet with the months of the year going down the left hand column. Across the top list the following headings: Timing, Topic, Target, Responsibility, and Results.

The simplest way to use this column is to leave the months of the year under the Timing column and plan monthly. If special times or seasons of the year for your business are important, you may have to break this down further.

This is the news item that you want to publicize. Do your best to fill in each month with a topic. The squeaky wheel gets the ink.

What media outlet (TV, radio, print) will you contact with your topic. Be as specific as you can; instead of putting the name of your local newspaper in this column, put the columnist's name, or the editorial section, or the local section with a particular reporter's name, for example.

Who has the responsibility to develop the "angle" to present to the media outlet?

Wat results do you expect to see from your efforts? Fill this in as a part of your planning, not after the results have happened. It helps you focus on what you want.

Any Media Plan takes time to develop, but it can be an effective tool to organize your public relations efforts. Be creative; public relations is often a simple matter of finding an angle to the news that makes it interesting. Plan something for every month, be sure to follow up without being a pest to any one media outlet, and make sure everyone knows their responsibilities.