At the heart of your publicity planning are the audiences you are communicating with. There’s your client… the community… your prior customers… the press. They are all important to your messaging, but they will read your communications from entirely different points of view. Usually, you’ll tailor the messages to all of your audiences, but sometimes, that’s just not possible. In publicity, that’s where different “formats” come into play.
Here are some “formats” that serve various audiences.
- The Fact Sheet: This sheet has all the facts about your communications. It would be available to anyone (it can be the FAQ).
- Major Story: This is the complete feature about the project or communication event (i.e., your speaking at a local school).
- Special Communications: This can be a newsletter to your clients…or even a letter to them about your recent project.
The reason you have separate communications is because any “complete” story isn’t simple. Your “backgrounder” might have all of the detail, but frankly, all of your audiences aren’t interested in all that detail. People want to know what, about your communication, is “in it for them?” They are selective. The easiest way to think about this is to pick your main target audience and prepare communications for that audience. Then, as you review subsequent audiences, ask if that format fits. If not, do a different format for that audience. For example, an FAQ sheet might do well for your current client about the project you just finished, but a letter with a photo to your previous clients would be better.