7 ways PR pros use AP’s planning tool

By Jake Kreinberg

As new platforms emerge and change the media landscape, public relations professionals are constantly looking for the best approaches for sharing their companies’ messages. See how AP Planner can leverage the power of events to help you tell your brand’s story.

1. Generate press release and article ideas.

Awareness days and anniversaries provide great opportunities for outreach and tying your company to various causes.

For instance, did you know about “Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day”? Highlight your female employees working in STEM fields on your digital channels, or better yet, have one of them sign up to be a role model to inspire girls to find their own engineering spirit.

Planner tip: Find this event and others by creating a saved search in the “Planner Search” tab and select the categories “Anniversaries” and “Awareness Days/Campaigns.”

2. Develop relationships with press contacts.

Think you have amazing content (such as a blog post about your female engineers) that should be shared throughout a specific industry? Of course you do! But finding the right people to promote it outside your company can be difficult.

The good news is many events are now looking for quality content to share with their own audiences, including potential customers and influencers. With AP Planner, most entries include a press contact for you to get directly in touch with for amplifying your stories.

Planner tip: Find contacts by any topic, industry or location through the “Contacts” tab.

3. Turn staff into spokespeople.

No one can tell your company’s story better than your own executives and employees. They can share testimonials and their subject-matter expertise on your website or even through their own social channels, but that only reaches so many people.

One way to get your company’s message in front of untapped audiences around the country is having staff participate on panels and give keynote addresses at trade conferences, where they can develop a reputation as a leader in their respective field.

Planner tip: Search for event topics that align with the strengths of your employees, and search the integrated ExpertFile database to find out what other experts in your field are doing.

Bonus tip: Consider including your experts in the ExpertFile database to increase their exposure through AP Planner.

A screenshot of experts available to AP Planner users through the ExpertFile network.

4. Predict trending topics in the media and on social networks.

Did you know tonight marks the 200th episode of one of the most popular shows on television? In fact, the mayor of Pasadena, California, named today after this sitcom.

While you may not watch it, odds are some of your customers do. Make sure you’re part of the conversation with content relevant to both the mission of your company and the major entertainment events sure to get the country buzzing.

Planner tip: Create a saved search for major events and top stories in entertainment.

5. Know what keywords your audiences are searching for.

Keep an ear to the ground and stay updated on what your customers are talking about by attending events – they don’t have to be conferences, which can be expensive – and talking with attendees.

What people discuss in person often leads to what they’ll be searching for online. Take advantage of what you hear by aligning your company’s messaging to popular interests. (For even better results, make sure your content is optimized for search engines.)

Planner tip: Search for topics related to the audiences you would like to learn more about.

6. Manage an organization’s reputation in local communities.

Every company – no matter how large or small – interacts with the communities it serves. While knowing current events on a national level is certainly important, understanding the events occurring on a local level can have deeper resonance with your audiences.

Corporate philanthropy and social responsibility are not new ideas, but many businesses don’t know where to begin. Let AP Planner show you how to take the first steps.

Planner tip: Use the “Daybooks” tab to filter events by city and state.

7. Stay on top of new industry events without even trying.

You have enough to handle without manually tracking an increasingly crowded calendar of events. Even with saved searches, you may not have the time (or desire) to log in to AP Planner consistently.

Set up daily, weekly or monthly email digests for each of your saved searches, and let our editors handle the rest. They continuously update AP Planner and its more than 140,000 events – organized by date, event type, category, keyword and location – automatically notifying you to additions, subtractions or edits to any of your lists.

Planner tip: Sit back and relax! You’ll never have to leave the safe confines of your inbox again – well, at least for planning purposes.

Jake Kreinberg

Jake is the text and multimedia product manager at The Associated Press and the former editor of Insights. He previously covered college sports as a reporter for AP and helped design its multi-year strategic plan. Have feedback about the blog? Contact us at insights@ap.org.

insights, media tools, planner