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Blog How to Plan Your PR Calendar for Visibility Amplification in 2024

How to Plan Your PR Calendar for Visibility Amplification in 2024

Managing a brand’s reputation efficiently is no small feat. Powerful brands are not built through one-time flashy stunts but strategic, long-term initiatives. This takes planning and follow-through, which can only be achieved when everyone involved works based on a comprehensive PR calendar aligned with business goals.

Whether you’re flying solo, working in-house, or part of an agency managing multiple client accounts, read on to find out how to leverage the power of the PR calendar to maintain great relationships with the media and the public.

What is a PR calendar?

A PR calendar is a tool that PR specialists and agencies use to streamline public relations strategies and tactics. It’s a roadmap for all PR activities, including press releases, events, interviews, and crisis communication.

A PR calendar supports the marketing strategy by efficiently aligning PR efforts to goals, ensuring ease of execution and transparency across teams, and allowing stakeholders to track results.

different social media posts scheduled in a calendar tool

PR calendar with multiple distribution channels in Planable

How to create a comprehensive PR calendar: step-by-step guide

PR work is highly visible, and people on the team can easily get overwhelmed. You alternate between high activity periods, when everyone has something that must go out to the press today, and down time, when you’re desperately searching for ideas. Not to mention the occasional crisis that needs to be handled asap.

A PR calendar is great to keep everyone on the same page and accommodate the planned and the un-planned. How do you start building one? Let’s break it down into actionable steps.

Brainstorm, research, and gather content ideas

The first step towards building a content calendar is making a list of all ideas and activities that support your PR strategy. Get everyone relevant in the PR and marketing team involved to brainstorm different themes to include in the calendar.

Don’t just look at your own marketing activities when coming up with ideas. Take into account current events, possible speaking engagements, national holidays, annual events, and everything that can help you get media coverage. This is also a good time to research hashtags to join ongoing online conversations relevant to your target audience.

Reach out to stakeholders for a variety of content

Work with sales, product management, the management team, and other stakeholders to ensure that your calendar takes their needs into account and also to gather fresh ideas and perspectives.

To make this process easier, use a collaboration tool such as Planable to easily bring in people across the company to work on an online draft document. With the different permission levels and approval workflows, you can get people involved only as necessary, while maintaining a streamlined process.

approval layers of PR content in Planable, including content and design teams, and the client

After you put down all the story ideas, organize another session with the PR professionals and choose the most relevant and impactful activities to include in your publishing schedule, as well as decide on frequency and style.

Decide your content frequency, schedule, and style

The best PR calendars have diverse activities spread out evenly over time. Your brand will get media attention only if you’re consistent and can approach the audience from different angles and with fresh ideas.

When planning, be mindful that content creation requires resources. Be realistic about what you can achieve. Opt for executing a few great ideas consistently rather than populating your PR calendar with too many initiatives and exhausting your team and budget halfway.

3 best PR calendar planners for content marketing

PR calendar planners are designed to help public relations teams streamline processes, collaborate easily on various types of content, and ensure that efforts are successful in boosting brands’ visibility. These tools are scalable and fit the needs of companies at different growth stages.

When choosing a tool to manage public relations efforts, think of the bigger picture.

PR activities are typically connected with the marketing strategy, so it makes sense to integrate your PR calendar with your overall editorial calendar. What’s more, PR specialists must collaborate with everyone on the team on various pieces of content, get approval from stakeholders, and access resources such as copywriting or design.

1. Planable: the best editorial calendar tool

Planable is a content marketing platform that enables teams to work together on press releases, speeches, event briefs, blogs, social media posts, or other types of assets.

The tool’s comprehensive editorial calendar makes it easy to schedule activities, filter by labels, and zoom in or out on content anytime.

Planable's content calendar with scheduled social media posts for different platforms

PR campaign calendar in Planable

Planable’s calendar view is a quick way to get a clear image of what’s planned so you can decide what’s missing or what’s too much, and it will also help you stay consistent in content styles and follow brand guidelines across channels.

“The calendar view is really useful for thinking long term on the branding of your business.” – Vasile R., Small-Business CEO

In Planable, you can work in depth in each piece of content, get clear feedback and approvals from all relevant stakeholders. Ensure that branding is ok with the visual, that the product manager has thoroughly checked all prices, and say goodbye to any typos.

PR announcement content in planable with comments and suggestions

Content collaboration in Planable

Planable is also integrated with various social media platforms, so you can easily plan and distribute content. Publish on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, TikTok, GMB, or YouTube in just a few steps without switching logins.

Key features

Here are a few of the features that make Planable the top choice for many PR pros:

  • Create, plan, and manage all content in one place.
  • Share workspaces with teams and external collaborators.
  • Set approval layers and get feedback in real time.
  • Hide in-progress posts from clients.
  • Add approved content directly to the PR calendar.
  • Set recurring posts to save time with rescheduling.
  • View the content calendar as a list, grid, or feed.
  • Label activities to better organize and filter them.
  • Group posts to approve or edit multiple assets at once.

Planable works as a simple PR calendar if that’s what you need, but it can also become a powerful content tool for your growing team as the brand goals get more ambitious or as your client portfolio develops.

You can divide your work in multiple workspaces, to accommodate multiple internal projects or external clients, each with its own settings.

workspace dashboard in planable

Dedicated workspaces in Planable

Drawbacks: Planable has no integrations with CSM platforms for direct website publishing, and its social media analytics feature doesn’t include social media listening features.

Pricing: Planable offers a free plan for up to 50 posts, with all features included. The Basic Plan starts at $11/user and offers unlimited posts, several pages per workspace, different views, and types of approval.

2. Google Sheets: the best for small PR operations

Google Sheets will never disappoint when it comes to getting things done without complications. You can quickly put together a simple PR calendar online, share it will others to get feedback, and link to assets. Add different sheets if you want to create custom media contact lists or keep track of media outlets in the same document.

Here’s an example of a marketing calendar template from Smartsheet that can be customized to work as a PR calendar.

marketing calendar template example in google sheets broken down by quarters and months

While this works for small operations, as the marketing calendar grows, your needs might exceed this tool. Moreover, doing more advanced content planning and scheduling actions is either impossible or requires advanced skills.

Key features

Here are some of the features that make Google Sheets popular:

  • Easily access and use Sheets with a Google account.
  • Use various apps in the same environment, including Google Docs and Slides.
  • Create a basic PR calendar without advanced skills.
  • Set different access and editing layers and collaborate asynchronously.
  • Share editorial calendars with various internal or external collaborators.

Drawbacks: Google Sheets is limited as a content management and publishing tool. While efficient for organizing tasks, its true power resides in managing large data sets, not in streamlining the work of content creators.

Pricing: Google Sheets is available for free for individual users. Business plans start at $12/user/month.

3. monday.com: the best for project management

monday.com is a great tool for project management, especially for corporate teams that need to connect and coordinate projects virtually. It allows users to create dashboards, prioritize tasks, upload files, and create workflows. The platform has a Sales CRM component dedicated to sales and marketing activities.

monday.com's homepage with the headline "a new platform built for a new way of working"

Key features

Here are the features that marketing teams might find useful:

  • Collaborate and communicate with large, global teams.
  • Plan, prioritize, and manage tasks on agile projects.
  • Track leads and set up a sales pipeline.
  • Manage contacts, score, and qualify leads.
  • Onboard clients and manage renewals.

Drawbacks: While monday.com is a complex platform that integrates with a plethora of tools, some users report that it comes with a learning curve and that the pricing is not advantageous for small teams. Also, it’s geared towards productivity and client management rather than content management.

Pricing: monday.com offers a free tier with limited features for up to 2 seats. The Work Management module starts at €9 seat/month, and the Sales CRM module starts at €12 seat/month — both for a minimum of 3 seats.

PR calendar template

multiple types of PR content scheduled in the planable calendar by day and hour

PR calendar template in Planable

Why start from scratch when you can get started fast with a PR calendar template ready to use?

Whether you prefer working with Excel or Google Sheets, dedicated PR software, or other content management tools, adapt the template to your specific needs and start populating your PR calendar in no time.

In order to use a PR calendar template effectively, include the following:

  • Title and a short description of the activity
  • A label or tag for the activity to make the PR calendar easy to organize and search
  • Timeline for execution – write down key dates for execution and publication deadlines
  • Objectives and how they align with the bigger business goals
  • Details about the target audience
  • Distribution channels, including social media, media outlets involved, influencer partnerships, etc.
  • Responsible team members and approval layers
  • Allocated budget
  • Key metrics to follow to measure success

These are the basic components that will make your public relations calendar useful for all team members. Use a tool that makes calendar visualization easy for everyone, from the more strategic roles to execution.

With a platform like Planable, designed particularly for content teams, managing marketing calendars is so much easier. Start with the free template above and structure your calendar to serve the whole ideation, creation, and approval workflow — not just act as a placeholder for content ideas.

Benefits of using a PR calendar

Building and maintaining great relationships with the media and public is key for all businesses, whether big or small. And a lot of good work can go to waste in a matter of days if the PR team is not quick on its feet.

A PR calendar supports various marketing and communication objectives:

  • Alignment of PR activities with company goals. With a calendar at hand, you can see short-, medium-, and long-term initiatives and track them to their respective goals. It becomes easy to see where efforts are paying off and what can be improved.
  • Strategic decision-making and content planning. A “calendar” that sits in a manager’s mind or is just a to-do list might get things done, but it will inevitably be limited in impact. A public relations calendar allows leaders to track metrics and performance and be strategic about changes and resource allocation.
  • Communication efficiency and transparency. The PR calendar is the go-to online destination for anyone on the team or company to see plans and timelines, responsible people, and key metrics. Integrating a communications calendar further streamlines these processes.
  • Consistency in branding and publishing. A calendar is a must if you want to ensure brand consistency across channels and respect rule number 1 of content creation success: consistency. As SEO writer John McCoy put it in a LinkedIn post: “If you don’t have a content calendar pushing you along and keeping you on track, you’re going to fizzle out.”
  • Efficient campaign management. When you choose a tool like Planable, you get a PR calendar that not only allows you to organize and manage content but also streamlines communication and collaboration. This saves important resources and fast-tracks campaign planning and execution.

twitter and facebook social media post in planable with comments

How do you create an annual PR plan?

You can plan your activities for any period you wish (monthly, quarterly, semestrial). However, an annual PR calendar is more efficient as it helps you create content and find public relations opportunities that support long-term goals. It also helps you prepare for industry events, national holidays, or seasonal themes while leaving room for the unexpected.

Here’s a quick checklist to follow:

  • Plan a team brainstorming session at the beginning of each period to gather ideas.
  • Use the public relations calendar template that best fits your needs to organize content and activities.
  • Create a publishing schedule that supports your goals and matches your resources.
  • Track and measure results.

That’s it, you’re all set.

Skyrocket your PR strategy with a structured content calendar

Want to supercharge your PR strategy? It’s easy when you have a content calendar. Planable makes it easy to integrate your public relations calendar with the bigger content strategy while not losing track of specific activities. Try it now to manage all your content in one place, streamline collaboration, and enjoy a smooth journey to the top.

Sabina Varga

Sabina Varga

Sabina is a freelance writer with 15+ years of experience in the MarCom industry. Her to-do list includes helping people write better and businesses sell more through content. She is the host of Zest, a podcast that brings writing within listeners’ reach.

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