In today’s 24/7 connected world, it’s more important than ever to publicize your company’s products and services through a variety of ways in order to stand out from the competition.

While you can certainly generate publicity for your company by yourself – like going to networking events or keeping in touch with your existing business/personal contacts – a strategic public relations plan can more effectively disseminate your company’s messages to a targeted group of individuals and corporations who would likely purchase your products and services.

I’m certainly not advocating stopping business development efforts that have been successful in the past.  Instead, I’m speaking from my own experience that a strategic public relations plan can help your business to reach levels it’s never known before because of the economics of scale provide by public relations.  Through the implementation of a strategic public relations plan, you can reach more people in one day than you’d ever be able to reach by yourself.

So, what makes a good public relations plan?

It’s much more than just trying to get your business mentioned on Oprah, an article in the New York Times or even getting 1,000 followers on Facebook.  A good public relations plan looks at your business and your customers (who they are, where they are, how they get their news) and targets opportunities that will result in higher qualified lead for your business.

For example, if you’re a company that sells financial services to millionaires, there’s a good chance that your customers are not watching Oprah in the afternoon when the stock market is open.  As a result, an effective PR plan would determine how your business can reach your targeted customer base; perhaps you could hold an intimate event where you can network with doctors, lawyers, and corporate executives.

Depending on your business, a strategic public relations plan may include things like; a media relations strategy that communicates information on your business to local, state and industry media; ways you can promote your business though social media outlets; the development of a new website that can be cross-promoted by search engines and social media sites; the creation of a marketing/advertising campaign, development of promotion events; and speaking opportunities at corporate and on-profit events to generate credibility for your business.

Simply put, a good PR plan is not one size fits all.  A strong plan is developed by putting a lot of thought into how you can reach customers where they live, work and visit, then targeting those places with salient messages that will resonate with your customers and get them to visit your website.