In today’s fast-paced world it can be difficult to find a moment to pause and question things. We so often get swept up in the day-to-day, allowing old habits to override initiative.

But taking a step back and evaluating your business can spark new ideas and help you address challenges. Here at Sidekick it plays a vital part in what we do - not just for ourselves as a business, but for our clients, too.

We firmly believe in taking time out to evaluate what we’re doing and where we’re going. How you approach your PR and communications strategy should be no different.

Before starting any PR plan you should always start with one simple question: Why?

Here are some of the top ‘Whys’ to consider when you’re planning your business’s PR activity.

WHY DOES MY BUSINESS NEED PR?

Seems simple, but it’s amazing how many businesses employ a PR agency without actually understanding the purpose of public relations.

Delivered properly, PR has a vital role to play in any organisation.

It can help you achieve your business aims, increase customers, generate additional revenue and open up new markets.

So before embarking on any PR activity – be it in-house or by employing an agency – ask yourself why you’re doing it and what you want to achieve.

Being clear on your ‘why’ and understanding your goals – be they short, medium or long term aims, will make the planning much easier.

WHY AM I WRITING A PRESS RELEASE?

Journalists are bombarded by press releases all day, every day. Do you really need to write and send one?  Or is there an alternative way of doing things? Is what you’re writing about even of interest to the media or would your time be better spent crafting engaging digital content for your own channels?

Don’t be afraid to challenge the norm and do something different. It may just get you noticed.

WHY AM I TARGETING THIS MEDIA OUTLET?

All too often PR is about quantity rather than quality. Not enough businesses or PR agencies pause and think about who they want to target and why.

Yes, a towering pile of newspaper cuttings might look good from afar and may flatter the ego, but what is that coverage actually doing for your business?

If your target audience isn’t reading the publications you’re being mentioned in, or using the social media channels you’re spending time trawling – what’s the point?

WHY AREN’T WE MEASURING PR?

There are few areas of a business that you’d invest in and not measure the return on, and PR should be no different. However, many companies either forget or simply move on to the next project.

You should be looking for clear outcomes from your PR activity, evaluating how your investment has contributed towards your organisation’s goals.

Whether it’s generating web traffic to a certain page on your website, driving enquiries about a particular service you’re promoting or causing an uplift in sales of a product you’ve been promoting.

Good PR achieves results that matter to you and your business.