Component of a PR Plan

A basic public relation plan is a blue print of what you want to do and how you will accomplish your task. Such a plan, be it a brief outline or a comprehensive document, wil enable you and your client or employer to make sure that all elements have been properly considered, evaluated, and coordinated for maximum effectiveness.

Here is the list of the elements of a "Public Relations Plan":

Situation: You cannot set valid objectives without understanding the problem. To understand the problem, (a) discuss it with the client to find out what he or she expects the publicity to accomplish, (b) do your own research, and (c) evaluate your ideas in the broader perspective of the client's long-term goals.

Objectives: Once you understand the situation, it should be easy to define the objectives. To determine if your stated obejectives are the right ones, ask yourself: (a) Does it really solve or help solve the problem? (b) Is it realistic and achievable? (c) Can success be measured in terms meaningful to the clients?

Audience: Identify, as precisely as possible, the group of people to whom your are going to direct your communications. Is this the right group to approach in order to solve the problem? If there are several groups, prioritize the maccordingly to which are most important for your particular objectives.

Strategies: The strategy describes how, in concept, the objective is to be achieved. Strategy is a plan of action that provides guidelines for selecting the communications activity you will employ. There are usually one or more strategies for each target audience. Strategies may be broad or narrow, depending on the objective and the audience.

Tactics: This is the body of the plan, which describes,in sequence, the specific communications activities proposed to achieve each objective. Discuss each activity as a seperate thought, but relate each to the unifying strategy and theme. In selecting communication tools - news realeases, brochures, radio announcements, and so on - ask yourself if the use of each will really reach your priority audiences and help you accomplish your stated objectives.

Calendar: It is important to have timetable, usually outlined in chart from, that shows the start and completion of each project within framework of the total program. A calendar makes sure that begin project - such as brochures, slide presentations, news-letters, or special events early enough that they are ready when they are needed. A program brochure that reaches its target two days after the event is not an effective publicity tool.

Budget: How much will implementation of the plan cost? Outline in sequence the exact costs of all activities. Make sure that you include such things as postage, car mileage, and labor to stuff envelopes. In addtion, about 10 percent of the total budget should be allocated for contingencies.

Evaluation: Before you begin, you and the client or employer must agree on the criteria ou will use to evaluate our success in achieving the obejective. Evaluation criteria should be (a) realistic, (b) credible, (c) specific, and (d) appropriate to the client's expectations. Don't show stack of press clippings if only sales results are important.


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