Was the question on a business forum, I belong to… and it got me thinking. And my answer would be there isn’t a one size fit’s all solution.
Understand who you want to be talking to
What works in terms of PR for say a fast food company targetting a youth audience, won’t work well for a company trying to sell family holidays.
It’s not about the cheapest, it’s about what’s most affective
If you spend £500 and get no customers or you spend £10,000 and get £25,000 worth of business – what’s going to be the best investment and give you the best rate of return?
So my suggestions to help you put together a PR/marketing plan
1. Identify who you want to be talking to – your existing and potential customers and those who influence them
2. Identify why customers should buy from you rather than your competitors – what makes you better, different, more cost effective
3. Carry out some research into what PR/marketing activities will appeal to your audience ie what media do they read/watch, will direct mail appeal?, what about networking, online marketing, promotions, competitions? etc
4. what budget have you available to invest?
If you go to http://www.businesslink.gov.uk or http://www.marketingdonut.co.uk you can find lots of useful advice on putting together a PR/marketing plan and guides to promoting your business.
Business Link also have some great free courses (with a very nice lunch thrown in for the all day ones) on everthing from online marketing to PR and media relations.