An article in the current issue of PRInfluences provides ten steps in creating PR capability in an organization.
1. Establish the key business reason for having a PR capability - whether for marketing purposes, for a certain business event or for stakeholder considerations - and why now is the right time for it. Be very specific.
2. Identify an internal figure of authority or influence to champion the proposal, present your case to him or her, ask his or her advice, and request his or her help in advocating the move.
3. Show management how your competitor is using PR to their advantage. Analyze the competitor’s PR efforts and quantify specific actions and outcomes. Provoke a reaction.
4. Do research on the type of PR measurement and evaluation tools most appropriate to your organization and management. Use these to demonstrate specific results that can be expected.
5. Do research on PR and its benefits in organizations around the world. Present the information, including award-winning case studies.
6. Determine the PR structure and process most appropriate to your organization and its culture. Identify who the PR team will report to.
7. Decide whether to keep the task internal or to work with an agency. To keep it internal, you will have to employ a PR specialist. The alternative is to choose an agency with the skills, experience and knowledge you require. You may decide to work with them completely, or to have them help your company set up your internal PR team.
8. Identify the cost of creating the PR capability for your organization. You will have to consider how much the agency will charge, how much budget will be required overall, and how much your organization can afford to spend. You will also have to identify the source of the budget. Funds currently allocated to other areas could probably be diverted to PR.
9. Include the process of developing a PR strategy and preparing a PR plan in your proposal. Be concrete.
10. Convince all those in the organization who may stand to benefit from the creation of a PR capability, and get them to buy into the case not only during the proposal stage but also in the first year of actual implementation.
If there’s a will, there’s a way.