vst 2 plugins - how to automate program change?

Help! Am I overlooking something really obvious?

I have a vst2 plugin instrument.
It has a list of programs in a drop down list which can be selected by automation with midi prg change messages
So far so good.

Now I want to edit and save new programs to the plugin’s dropdown list, but how?

The only way I can see to edit and save new programs is to save them as vstpresets (vst3 style) - the problem is these saved vstpresets are not added to the plugin’s drop down list of programs and therefore are not accessible via prg change messages so they can’t be automated!

(For vst3 plugins this is not a problem becasue the vstpresets are added to the plugin dropdown list which is accessible via prg change messages)

Anyone know what I’m talking about or a way of solving it? Thanks!

may I enquire as to how you are automating program changes…MSB/LSB program bank changes etc or by automating the patch naming select?

yes, I’m automating program changes from the key editor by creating a prg changes controller lane.