One of my favorite things about myself is that I crack myself up. This week’s titter moment was my post about strategic planning:

Strategic Planning: It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, because if you don’t do it, your #biz will starve to death.

(You have to say it like Mathew McConaughey does in the Beef commercials.)

Having been in PR for decades (almost two, so I can say that now) I have always had a strong sense of planning and was taught the how important this step is by several bosses and mentors. Last week I had the pleasure of attending Boise Adverting Federation’s luncheon with Tim Anderson, Group Strategy Director of Edelman Creative, where Tim shared his expertise on strategy and how smaller agencies can utilize the same skills that the bigger agencies currently operate on.

Well, my agency is as small as it gets and I spent the whole time nodding and smiling. All those years at large companies, boutique PR firms, and stealth start-ups has paid off. My process is the same and although clients often fight me going into it, we quickly begin to agree on the benefits of strategic planing. Here’s a road map:

Six Steps to Strategic Planning

Communications experts will tell you that a well planned public relations campaign is often far more effective than advertising. My plan will assist you in developing and creating the core of your public relations campaign in six easy steps.

  • Step 1: Define and write down your objectives for your publicity or media plan.

How will you design your public relations campaign? Will it be designed to:

  • Establish your expertise among your peers, the press, or your potential clients or customers?
  • Build goodwill among your customer, supplier, or your community?
  • Create and reinforce your brand and professional corporate image?
  • Inform and create good perceptions regarding your company and services?
  • Assist you in introducing a new service or product to your market?
  • Generate sales or leads?
  • Mitigate or address the impact of negative publicity and/or corporate crisis?

You may be wondering why I am asking you these things at the beginning of a tutorial that is supposed to show you how to create and your develop publicity plan? The answer is easy. In order for your publicity and media plan to be successful, it is first important to determine and define your objectives. With a clear objective in mind you have laid the ground work to the complete the planning.

Step 2: Define your goals. It is important that your goals be specific, measurable, results-oriented and time-bound. These goals need to be in-line with your overall business, marketing, and sales objectives.

Step 3: Determine who your target audience is. Who is it that you want to reach with this campaign? What do you want your key message to be?

Step 4: Develop a schedule for your public relations efforts and create synergy by coordinating your public relations plan with other marketing and sales efforts.

Step 5: Develop your plan of attack. What communication vehicles will you use to get your message to the public?

  • Press releases
  • Articles
  • Customer Success Stories
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Press Conferences, Interviews, or Media Tours
  • Radio, Television, or Press Interviews
  • Seminars or Speaking Engagements
  • Event Sponsorships

Select three from the list and beginning researching and developing your approach.[Please note, press releases is first, but that does not mean everyone should start there.]

Step 6:Put measures in place to track the results of your PR Campaign. After each campaign sit down and review the results. Did you achieve the defined objectives and goals of this campaign? Should you consider modifying your original plan? If so, how and why?

Step 7: Hire a pro. (I know, I tricked you by adding in an extra step.) The reality is that even savvy business professionals and experienced marketers rarely have the ability to manage their company, develop their brand, plan for the future – all without their rose colored glasses. You need expert assistance and someone you can rely on for sound advice, feedback and direction.

Good thing you have me! Give a call when you’re  ready to move your company to the next level. ~ Jules

2 thoughts on “Strategic Planning: It’s what’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner

  1. Jules I agree 100% with your steps. Let’s say that coming from a South American country where we tend to improvise quite as much as planning when things get stuck, we allow more flexibility going from one step to the other, especially when trying innovative ways to fulfill the established goal.

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    1. Thanks, Raiza. I agree. I have done some research on how communication styles vary by culture. I am very similar to the passionate communicator personality style and (you might not guess this) but I am part Brazilian, so a part of me agrees. However, the tendency to improvise when stuck, find ways to be flexible, incorporate innovation are universal. All businesses need to be fast, flexible and free-thinking at times – maybe even most times. But, an absolute refusal to plan – which is closer to what I was addressing in the post – is not healthy for any business. Thanks for being here. ~ Jules

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