Carefully Crafted on November 27

Building a PR Strategy: Define Personas + 5 Bonus Planning Resources

As you know, a core component to a PR strategy is defining target audiences. But, how do you get beyond a basic list of generic categories? Try creating personas. Once you have created these fictional characters, they can help shape the rest of your marketing and PR efforts — from content creation …to media relations.

How do you create personas that inform the strategy and realistically reflect the demographics, beliefs, values, interests, behaviors and concerns of these individuals? Here are some brainstorming starters to kickstart the process:

  • WHO: gender, age, urban/suburban, education, kids and their ages, occupation
  • WHAT: likes/interests, reading material, hobbies
  • WHEN:  how often do they want to hear from you? when are they online? when are they reading? when are they making a buying decision?
  • WHERE: which online sites do they frequent? where do they hang out with family/friends? urban/suburban/rural/city?
  • WHY: What do they want to hear from you? How does their intent align with your organization’s intent?
  • HOW: How will you reach these people? What content of content will resonate?

As you think through these topics and questions, you’ll start to define your target audience in much more specific (and useful!) terms. Go the extra mile and assign each persona a name and a face. If you want to go all out, find a photo online that represents that person to humanize the persona. Write up a brief story that incorporates their persona and the value your business provides to each organization, as well as their expectations for your services/products/behaviors. Then, as you develop PR plans, think about how the tactics will resonate with the personas. If a tactic won’t resonate with a persona, reconsider if it’s really worth the resources. Likewise, if a tactic will resonate with more than one persona, perhaps it should be elevated to greater importance?

Have you incorporated personas into your PR strategy? How did you create the persona and how do you keep them in mind during planning and implementation?

Additional PR planning resources:


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