Posted by: loveleigh | March 27, 2009

Ch. 6: Program Planning

A public relations program plan identifies what is to be done, why, and how to accomplish it. PR plans have 8 basic elements:

1. Situation. There are three traditional situations that often prompt a public relations program:

  • The organization must conduct a remedial program to overcome a problem or negative situation.
  • The organization needs to conduct a specific one-time project to launch a new product or service.
  • The organization wants to reinforce an ongoing effort to preserve its reputation and public support.

2. Objectives. are either informational or motivational

  • Informational objectives are designed to expose audiences to information and to increase awareness of an issue, an event, or a product. However, these objectives are hard to measure.
  • Motivational objectives aim to change attitudes and influence behavior. These objectives are much easier to measure.

3. Audience. PR practitioners target specific publics within the general public. This is done through market research that can identify key publics by such demographics as age, income, social strata, education, existing ownership or consumption of specific products, and where people live.

4. Strategy. A somewhat broad statement describing how an objective is to be achieved and provides guidelines and key message themes for the overall program.

5. Tactics. Describe the specific activities that put each strategy into operation and help to achieve the stated objectives. Tactics require a lot of creativity from the PR firm.

6. Calendar/timetable. There are three aspects to establishing a calandar and timetable for a program.

  • The timing of a campaign should take into account the environmental context of the situation. Some subjects are seasonal like the campaign for christmas ornaments should be timed for november.
  • Scheduling of Tactics has a typical pattern to concentrate the most effort at the beginning of a campaign. Next the launch phase of a compaign requires a burst of activity just to break the awareness barrier. Once public relations has created an awareness the next stepis a marketing and advertising campaign.
  • Compiling a Calandar Pr professionals must think ahead to make things happen in the right sequence, at the right time. One way to achieve this goal is to compile timelines and charts that list the necessary steps and their required completion dates.

7. Budget. often divided into two categories: 1) staff time and 2) out-of-pocket expenses.

8. Evaluation. should restate the objectives and list the evaluation methods that will be used.

This information has been provided by Public Relations: Strategies and Tactics (9th edition) by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron


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