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Planning PR campaigns

During my recent tutorial on planning PR for the CIPR Advanced Certificate students we looked at various examples of PR plans from all kinds of organisations. There were whizzy PowerPoint presentations, simple two page documents, colour coded excel timetables and 30-page reports.

It seems every organisation does PR planning differently.  So, how do you get started if you have to write a PR plan? 

Pic courtesy of digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.n


I use this quick checklist to help me stay on track when writing PR plans:

What is the problem?

I try to get to the bottom of the issue or communication problem by conducting some through research. This is sometimes called situational analysis or environmental scanning.  You might need to put your ‘thinking’ hat on for this.

What does the PR plan seek to achieve?

Set specific, realistic objectives.  Public relations can’t achieve everything and so it helps to set these at three levels – awareness building, attitude change and behaviour change.

Who do you want to reach?

I try to identify the specific target audiences that I want the public relations communication to reach and find that it helps if I can prioritise these.

What should be said?

Identify specific messages that you want the target audiences to receive. This will help as a check list for any written or other communication materials that you later generate for the campaign.

How should it be communicated?

This is where you need to decide what channels or mediums to use for communicating.  Then you need to use your creativity and knowledge to help public relations provide the solution to the communication brief or issue.

How do you know if the PR has worked?

Incorporate evaluation methods at the beginning, during and after the campaign has finished. Absolutely essential.

I hope that this check list helps next time you have to write a PR plan.  What else do you do when PR planning?

Here are other PR tips and if you’d like to find out more about my How to write a PR plan or How to create a low cost PR campaign training courses, then do get in touch.

Image digitalart /

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