PR planning – tips and tricks

PR planning – tips and tricks

Claire Walker

Claire Walker

You’ve got a great PR campaign idea and it’s very tempting to jump straight into the execution phase – the exciting bit. But, be careful.  Failing to allow time for detailed PR planning may be costly in the long run. This is a conundrum for lots of our clients, and even agencies – do you put aside enough time (and budget!) for planning before PR execution kicks off? Or do you want to see all of your budget and resources go directly into activities meant to generate results?

I’ve always been particularly keen to push through the importance of planning. I’ve jumped up at many a white board and flip chart to create the ‘planning vs. activity’ conundrum for numerous colleagues and clients over the years, in order to emphasise why planning is key is any PR strategy

This is a crude test, but in principle, what is the best approach – A, B or C?

 

A is tempting with a bit of thinking and lots of doing! It’s easy to feel like you’re achieving something when lots is ‘getting done’, but are you absolutely sure you’re doing the right things? This is classically when the plan says something vague and the team take off in their own directions.

B is balanced – equal thinking and doing. But the plan and the team efforts may not work together and may even conflict. There’s not enough pull back to the plan and goals, analyse best actions or a focus on what absolutely needs to be achieved.

The right answer is C. You should spend more time thinking and planning than doing. If you only do what you absolutely know will be successful, then you are guaranteed to achieve your goal (without wasting precious resources) – and you’ll spend less time doing all those irrelevant things. You might even get to go home on time!

A basic PR plan structure should include these key components:

  • Executive summary
  • Situational analysis
  • Assumptions, problems and consequences
  • PR/Campaign goal
  • Audience and messages
  • Objectives
  • Strategy
  • Tactics & deliverables
  • Schedule
  • Critical success factors
  • Budget
  • Evaluation
  • Reporting and administration
  • Team & responsibilities

The last word of caution. Too often we pile into writing a PR plan without any clarity and insight on the above basic points. Push and question to get clarity and leave no stone unturned when looking to understand the communication playing field. We have a thorough approach to exploring the wealth of information out there on you, your industry and your competitors. To read more about this, go to our Exhaustive insights = informed PR page.

Share this story:

Read more from the blog

Comms planning

What can 'The Rise and Fall of Abercrombie & Fitch' teach us about managing reputations?

Lucas Jackson analyses Netflix's latest documentary on Abercrombie and Fitch, discussing its impact on reputation. ...Read more

Lucas Jackson
Lucas Jackson
Tech News

April showers bring May flowers in the form of exciting tech innovation

May has brought a range of innovation across the tech sector, from AI to VR and more. ...Read more

Megan Hogg
Megan Hogg
Claire Walker

A virtual playground: How can VR tools benefit your comms efforts?

As VR adoption increases, the technology is transforming both the world of work and our personal lives. How can comms professionals leverage VR for campaigns? ...Read more

Claire Walker
Claire Walker

Add a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Is it time to shape your reputation?

We operate in London, Paris and Munich, and have a network of like-minded partners across the globe.

Get in touch

Sign up to Spark, our newsletter

Receive thought pieces from our leadership team, views on the news, tool of the month and light relief for comms folk

You can unsubscribe at any time, please read our privacy policy for more information