By Jenny Fujita and Joy K. Miura, Fujita & Miura Public Relations

Here’s a scenario: as a business owner, you’ve been meaning to give a donation to a local community service organization. But which one? And how do you do it humbly but visibly?

If you have an issue that needs addressing or an opportunity that should be highlighted, but a limited budget and no internal public relations (PR) staff, consider outsourcing someone to prepare a strategy that you will implement.

Public relations strategies can be created for nearly any purpose. Some common themes include community outreach, grand openings, safety campaigns, introducing a new leader, and hurricane or emergency preparedness. You think of a topic and let a qualified expert prepare a targeted plan for you.

A quality strategy will tell you exactly when and how to communicate with the right target audience to accomplish your desired outcome. A well-timed strategy, i.e., one that precedes an event or situation, will enable you to be prepared and proactive. Before you make the call to outsource a strategy, consider the following questions:

What is the current situation of your organization?

What do you perceive as your problem or opportunity?

Who are your key publics?

How does your PR goal tie into your overall business goals?

What is your timeframe?

What is your budget?

What is your level of in-house PR expertise (public speaking, media etiquette, writing, etc.)?

Answering these questions will help you communicate your goals clearly to your PR consultant and ensure that the resulting strategy is effective, appropriate, and doable. Then, like following a good set of instructions, you can implement the plan and check another item off of your “to do” list.

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