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Preparing Your Strategic Plan


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Preparing Your Strategic Plan

  1. 1. Preparing Your Strategic Plan Presented by Brett Atwood
  2. 2. Developing a Plan  Once you’ve determined your client, you’ll need to quickly establish a PR plan  If you’ve chosen a “real” client, you should attempt to get their input!  Talk to your client to establish their needs  “Needs assessment”
  3. 3. Needs Assessment  Survey the organization  Talk to members of the organization AT ALL LEVELS  High level executives  “In the trenches” employees  Tap into existing market research or background materials  Learn the history of PR campaigns at the company
  4. 4. Gathering Information  Focus groups  A focus group can help you get feedback from the customer base  Part of two-way communication  It is better to uncover potential problems BEFORE the PR campaign begins  Surveys  Used to gather attitudes and perceptions of target audiences.
  5. 5. Classic PR Blunder  1985 - “New Coke”  Coca-Cola’s ill-fated response to the growing threat by Pepsi  Ad campaign boasted about the “new taste”  Research and focus groups might have avoided this blunder
  6. 6. Classic PR Blunder  Netflix & Qwikster
  7. 7. Media targets  Who will you target in the media?  What information do you need to know about those you target?  Media directories can help  Cision (formerly known as Bacon’s)  Media Map
  8. 8. Eight Essential Plan Elements  Situation  Objectives/Goals  Audience  Strategy  Tactics  Calendar/Milestones  Budget  Evaluation
  9. 9. 1. Situation  “Executive summary” of the situation/challenge  Demonstrates your research on why the PR campaign/program is needed  Should factor in client expectations for both short-term and long-term goals
  10. 10. 2. Objectives/Goals  Once you have defined the situation/problem, it is time to create the objectives/goals  Objectives/goals should:  Help to solve the problem and/or address the defined situation  Be achievable  Be measurable
  11. 11. 2. Objectives/Goals  Informational Objectives  Designed to inform and increase awareness  Motivational Objectives  Aims to change attitudes and modify behavior
  12. 12. 3. Audience  Identify the group of people to whom you are directing your communication  There may be several groups  Which are most important to your client?
  13. 13. 4. Strategies  How will you achieve the objective(s)?  This is your plan of action  How will the audience see this in relation to its own self interest?  Include key copy/speaking points  These are the central themes that should be repeated and reinforced through all messaging
  14. 14. 5. Tactics  The “execution” of the plan  How will you realize and achieve your strategy?  Describes the specific communication activities used to achieve the stated objectives
  15. 15. 5. Tactics  Can take the form of:  Media placements (Articles, news features)  Pamphlets/newsletters  Endorsements by tastemakers  Advertising campaigns  “Viral” marketing  You should reference your portfolio materials here
  16. 16. 6. Calendar/Milestones  Establish a timetable to start and complete your project  The calendar should have achievable “milestones” that mark defined accomplishments for each step of the task  This documents actual anticipated achievements, rather than mere discussion of them
  17. 17. 6. Calendar/Milestones  Examine synergy opportunities for your campaign  Example: aligning a media campaign with 4th of July holiday to assert “independent spirit”  Schedule activities/actions intelligently  Plan ahead  Some media placements have an early deadline months before the public will be exposed
  18. 18. 7. Budget  How much money will your plan cost?  How much money do you have?  Allow 10% for unexpected contingencies
  19. 19. 8. Evaluation  Did you achieve your objectives?  How will you define “success”?  Find and report tangible evidence of success or shortcomings in the campaign  It is common to do a pre-test/post-test analysis of consumer awareness and/or sales before and after the campaign
  20. 20. Review: Elements of a Plan  Your strategic plan should have these eight elements:  Situation  Objectives  Audience  Strategy  Tactics  Timing  Budget  Evaluation
  21. 21. Example: Coca-Cola  In our “New Coke” example, Coca-Cola misidentified the situation  They erroneously assumed that their consumers preferred the sweeter taste of Pepsi  The new product and messaging “missed the mark” due to bad assessment  Thus, the first step (“situation”) is important before you jump to conclusions about your campaign direction
  22. 22. Example: Netflix  What could/should have Netflix done differently when considering the Qwikster spin-off?
  23. 23. Example of Strategic Plan  Let’s develop a strategic plan for troubled social media service Myspace  Remember them?
  24. 24. Situation:  Situation:  Myspace is perceived as a “washed up” social network – irrelevant and overshadowed by larger (e.g. Facebook) and newer social media networks (e.g. Snapchat, etc.)  As a result, the financial and tech media have mostly forgotten about this struggling social media pioneer
  25. 25. Situation:  Situation:  In 2011, musician Justin Timberlake purchased a large stake in the company  In 2013, the “new” Myspace debuted with a re-design and focus toward a more music- focused social network
  26. 26. Situation:  Situation:  However, the service has not gained much traction as a music-focused site and the company recently downsized to about 200 employees (compared to 1,600 at the peak of its popularity)
  27. 27. Objectives:  Objectives:  To re-establish Myspace as a relevant social media network and service for anyone who loves music  To establish “event” and music content exclusives that will gain the attention of media and consumers so that Myspace will re-emerge into the mainstream
  28. 28. Audience:  Audience  Internet users  Music lovers and musicians  Ages 12-34  A large amount of use is among high school students
  29. 29. Strategy:  Strategy  What strategy would you use to relaunch Myspace?
  30. 30. Tactics:  Tactics:  What tactics would you use to achieve your goals and objectives?
  31. 31. Calendar:  How would you identify and establish a timeline to achieving your goals and implementing your tactics?  Examine synergy opportunities for your campaign  Schedule activities/actions intelligently  Plan ahead  Some media placements have an early deadline months before the public will be exposed
  32. 32. Budget:  How much money will it take to execute this campaign?  Is there a cost benefit to choosing one form of media over another?
  33. 33. Evaluation:  Was the campaign successful in changing opinions and visitor traffic?  How could we find that out?  What tangible evidence do we have that the campaign was a success?