Proper budgeting and financial planning for all the departments and processes in your company is fundamental to scalable growth and cashflow management. After all, long-term success is not about pouring money into sales, marketing, or PR, rather, it's about knowing the needs and goals of each and carefully working out a budget that will help them achieve their objectives.
"...long-term success is not about pouring money into sales, marketing, or PR, rather, it's about...working out a budget that will help them achieve their objectives."
You need to do all of that without taking money away from other crucial departments and mission-critical processes, of course. When it comes to successful PR, however, there is no denying that the PR team needs ample resources in terms of talent, tools, and finances to achieve their short, mid, and long-term goals.
With that in mind, today we are going to help you stay on track with your financial planning by showing you what you need to do to work out the best possible PR budget for your needs and goals. Here’s what you need to know.
First things first, the road to creating a viable, data-driven budget for your PR team and their efforts is to take a look at past performance, trends, and requirements. Analysing the past is the best way to plan for the future, as it allows you to gain some much-needed perspective and realise what worked, what didn’t, and what you could have done to achieve better results.
"...you need to assess your PR performance for the previous year..."
In fact, this is essential business budgeting for which you can use budgeting tools to add past numbers and performance in order to generate meaningful insights for specific teams, but also your company as a whole. We’ll talk about tools later on, but for now, keep in mind that you need to assess your PR performance for the previous year, making sure to note important dates, events, and PR activities and what those achieved with the budget they had.
Every business, big or small, should have at least one data analytics professional who will put important data into perspective for the managerial team and the executives. Data analysts will pool all the relevant data from different departments, projects, activities, and timeframes to generate visual data sets for the decision makers in your company.
"This is an important step if you are to...create a data-driven budget for each of your teams - PR included."
This is an important step if you are to create a viable data strategy for your business and especially if you are to create a data-driven budget for each of your teams - PR included. If you don't have a birds' eye view of your spending and department-specific requirements, then PR could easily get overfunded or underfunded relative to what they're trying to achieve.
With that in mind, talk to your data analyst and request a visual representation of important PR goals, projects, milestones, and how they correlate to business objectives, product launches, and marketing efforts.
If you're tight on resources, know that you can't go wrong if you focus your budgeting around big company events, milestones, and product launches. This means that you should have a detailed brand and product roadmap, so that your PR team knows exactly when the big events in your company are happening.
"If you're tight on resources...you can't go wrong if you focus your budgeting around big company events, milestones, and product launches."
You can then start budgeting for those events specifically to create press kits and event banners as well as other PR material, which allows you to manage your PR spend more efficiently.
Press outreach is important, but it can be downright wasteful to try to find and reach out to journalists on your own. Make sure to use a dedicated PR platform to save time and money, and find the right journalists in your industry and niche with the right audience and PR potential.
"...use a dedicated PR platform to save time and money, and find the right journalists in your industry and niche with the right audience and PR potential."
You can also use a tool to create an online newsroom on your website with a responsive design where journalists can get instant access to your PR representatives and your press kits.
Lastly, make sure to interview all the upper management and the executives in your company to help streamline your PR processes and money allocation. Based on their feedback about what they think should be the primary objectives for your PR team and your brand, you can create a detailed summary that will give your PR team clear directions.
"Based on their feedback...you can create a detailed summary that will give your PR team clear directions."
Most importantly for the decision-makers, though, this feedback will help them decide how much money to inject into the PR department throughout the year.
Budgeting for PR activities is a key process in any business, regardless of its size, type, or the industry it operates in. Much like you need to carefully plan for all marketing, support, and sales activities in order to generate leads and conversions, as well as create loyal customers, you need to empower your PR team with the right amount of financial resources to build success on all fronts.
"...you need to empower your PR team with the right amount of financial resources to build success on all fronts."
Make sure to follow these steps to discover the best budgeting plan for your unique needs and goals, and to steer the PR team in the right direction to utilise every penny you put into the department in 2022 and beyond.
PS: Are you receiving FREE publicity opportunities, straight into your inbox?