September A Great Time to Begin Planning 2020 PR Budgets

Sep 4, 2019

It’s September. The kids are back to school and summer vacations are over. It’s the time of the year when our clients start planning their PR budgets for 2020. What are some considerations for you to make when planning your company’s public relations budget? Here’s a list of a few to consider:

  1. Know your goals. Public Relations goals can be as few or as many as you need. Just be sure to be consistent with your business and marketing goals. Examples of these goals include increasing traffic to your website, increasing your share of voice, highlighting key customer accomplishments or introducing and utilizing new subject matter experts from your company. Whatever your goals are, make sure they are SMART specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
  2. Events Major events or trade shows such as HIMSS take a tremendous amount of planning and preparation to be a success. It’s important to budget for the additional work necessary to lead up to major conferences and in many cases that work can start four months in advance. Have you considered any special events your company would like to host at the tradeshow? Are you planning for press and analyst meetings and support from your PR team at the events? Have your marketing materials and key messages been updated to support any announcements you plan to make at the show? Don’t forget to include travel expenses as part of your budget.
  3. New Product Announcements Most technology companies have a schedule of when they can announce new products or product enhancements. New product announcements can sometimes be a heavier lift for your PR team. Planning in advance for any necessary analyst briefings is a great strategy. Have you considered a paid relationship with a key analyst as part to of your marketing or PR budget? What about a webinar to help promote your new product? There can be website and messaging enhancements needed around a new product announcement as well.
  4. Customer promotion Getting customers to agree to interviews or case studies is what the media desperately wants. But it doesn’t happen with a snap of the fingers. Having internal support to foster client relationships and educate them on the value of promoting their relationship with your company is key. And there is time involved in developing that customer story interviews, writing, editing, approvals and pitching those stories. It can take a lot of work. If you have customers that are willing to speak about their experience utilizing your technology, you need to have a strategy and budget in place to support this gold mine opportunity.
  5. Team Expertise When you begin working on your marketing/PR budget for 2020, it helps to have an industry-knowledgeable outside resource to bounce ideas off of. Your Amendola team can help you build an annual plan to help you achieve your public relations goals. As your PR partners, your team will have a great feel for what worked previously and what might be good opportunities to change things up to achieve great results in the coming year. Once you have a solid PR plan in place, it will be much easier to build out the PR section of your marketing budget.

Next January may seem like it’s a long way away, but in marketing-time it’s really not. Be sure you start planning now so you’re ready to hit the ground running in 2020.

Linda Healan

For more than 20 years, Linda has provided strategic PR and marketing communications services to B2B national and multi-national clients in the technology, healthcare technology, real estate, travel & tourism, and professional service industries. In 1999, she established Healan PR following a successful career as an account and client services manager for several PR agencies. Notable clients included Craneware, ReachHealth, Oneview Healthcare, Flo Healthcare/Metro a division of Emerson and CenTrak, among others. Prior to entering the public relations field, Linda earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism/Public Relations from Georgia State University in 1993. She is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and active in the PRSA Georgia Chapter. She is also a member of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG) and served on the public relations committees heading Georgia Technology Forum 1998 and 1999, and Georgia Technology Celebration in 2003.