The PRSA St. Louis chapter recently held a PR Campaign Planning workshop, which I was fortunate enough to be able to attend. The event began with a brief recap of the typical organizational planning pyramid.
Good public relations plans are born from thorough research and planning. Nina Kult, APR, explained that it’s all too easy to jump directly into the tactics, skipping all the other steps. She covered some of the most common reasons we tend to do this. One is because we don’t have time or we get paid for results–not planning. Or the most common is that we luck into some early success leading us to think we don’t need a larger, comprehensive plan.
We have to remember that results don’t just happen. Success is almost always the result of lots of planning and hard work!
Planning sets the course for direction and keeps us on track. Arguably more importantly, it provides a way to achieve measurable results.
While the vision and mission are typically set by the organization, we need to know and understand what those are before we can begin planning the goals, followed by the objectives, strategies, and tactics of the campaign. We need to be able to connect our work back to supporting the mission.
Each tactic should answer what is the next step we need to take to achieve our strategy. These are the tangible activities such as sending a release, pitching key media, placing social media posts, creating a Twitter or Instagram hashtag, etc.
After the presentation, we broke into small groups and each group was presented with different real-life scenarios from past PRSA Silver Anvil Award entries and were asked to develop the goal, objective(s), strategies and tactics.
At the end, each group presented our plans and were critiqued by a panel of three of our chapter’s APRs who offered input—immediate feedback from the ‘cream of the crop’.
Regardless whether you’re just starting out in PR or have been doing it for years, a periodic refresher like this is a great exercise–to flex those strategic muscles in our brains!
Is this process similar to how you develop PR plans? What challenges have you faced? Are there things you’re doing differently or wish you could do differently? Please share your input!