PR proposal writing checklist

deskWriting a PR proposal for a new client is always a challenge. You don’t know the business but you want to deliver results… haven’t yet experienced the culture and personalities first hand yet you have big ideas for them…and so the list goes on.

You’d think that writing a new proposal or programme for an existing client would be so much easier?

In theory, yes, however there are some things to remember that can make the finished article have much more impact and much more success down the line.

  1. Rethink…don’t just re-hash a previous proposal or campaign. Ever. Keep learning and keep sharing that learning. Look at how stuff you have learned could solve the new comms challenges an organisation has.
  2. Improve…use the opportunity to review results for the previous year/existing campaign and make sure you tweak any areas that aren’t working and build on those that are
  3. True…to the organisation and its customers. Their values and demands are what counts at the end of the day.
  4. RemarkableSeth Godin’s mantra has never been more relevant. Make sure the content, communities and conversations you are aiming to create will cause people not only to take notice but to want to get involved and spread the word.
  5. Measurable…no brainer. If you can’t prove value, be prepared to be cut.
  6. Transparent…think of new ways your team and your client’s team can collaborate and be open about practices, processes, costs and activity
  7. Valuable…it’s what you are aiming for and what you should be measuring. Press cutting numbers or Twitter followers doesn’t even come close….we’re talking genuine value to the business and its customers and employees.
  8. Efficient…what can you cut from the programme? What can you share? What can you recommend the client does in-house?
  9. Challenge…the market, the competition, the organisation and yourselves. Your client needs new stuff? Then learn it. Find it. Invent it. Create it. Practice it. Then propose it.
  10. Interesting…because if the proposal is dull then chances are the programme will be…

*I deliberately haven’t put creativity here because if you are doing this stuff, you should be creating something fresh, new and exciting anyway.


  1. Pingback: PR proposal writing checklist « Financial Blogger
  2. Stephen Davies · March 17, 2009

    Great checklist!

  3. Kate Hartley · March 17, 2009

    This is a great list. And “If you can’t prove value, be prepared to cut” will strike a chord with most agencies at the moment, especially at a time when budgets/value are being compared to SEO and PPC.

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