Section 1: Scenario brief
The growing number of unwanted pets has meant that Greenacres Animal Sanctuary has
needed to expand. Although the land next door to the existing premises has been leased to
them at a peppercorn rent, the sanctuary needs volunteers to care for the animals and funds to
provide more kennels and catteries, and other facilities as well as food and veterinary care.
As a keen supporter of Greenacres, our PR consultancy firm have agreed to publicise its work
on a pro-bono basis.
Section 2: Understanding Public Relations
In order to start planning a public relations campaign it is important to understand and define
public relations. According to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), Public
Relations is defined as:
“…the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual
understanding between an organisation and its publics”.
One of the more noticeable and most important aspects of the Chartered Institute of Public
Relations’ definition is that public relations is a planned process, it is not just a one-off event, it
is an ongoing process that aims to create and ‘maintain’ a relationship between an organisation
to ‘sustain’ mutual understanding. In creating a mutual understanding it is easier to open up a
two-way communication to enable the actions of both the organisation and its publics to be
However, to create a relationship with it’s publics an organisation needs to build a reputation or
a standing in the community. Another definition from the CIPR states that:
“Public Relations practice is the discipline which looks after reputation with the aim of
earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour”.
The extent to which an organisation is known is its visibility, based on an organisation’s visibility
is its reputation. Reputation is based on both word and deed; on the verbal, visual and
behavioural messages that come from an organisation. Though we speak of reputation as a
single perception, it can be inconsistent and vary from one public to another. In general it is
thought that the stronger an organisation’s visibility and the more positive their reputation, the
more ability it has to build on this positive, secure base.
Section 3: Understanding the Planning Process
Planning is an integral part of the PR process, to create a public relations campaign it is
essential to understand the importance of planning and what it can do for a campaign.
There are several advantages of planning a campaign:
- Planning focuses effort
- Planning improves effectiveness
- Planning encourages a long term view
- Planning demonstrates value for money
- Planning minimises risks and mishaps
- Planning helps resolve potential conflicts of interest
- Planning facilitates pro-activity
To clearly outline the purpose and plan of a campaign there are many different planning
models that have been derived over the years, all planning processes follow a basic sequence,
allowing a more focused effort and a pathway from the beginning to the end where hopefully
the aims and objectives have been met.
As our brief has some very clearly defined aims we have chosen to take an MBO approach;
‘Management by Objectives’. One of the better known and widely used MBO model is
Gregory’s Planning Model (Appendix A).
Gregory’s planning model provides a sequence of activities:
- Content for messages
“A process internal to the overall organizational strategic planning process. Involves
research and analysis of both internal and external environmental factors,
consideration of organizational successes and failures, and the impact of the
organization's past and present abilities to reach its goals”.
Aims are issues that need to be overcome or outcomes that want to be achieved as a result of
An objective is the strategical or tactical aim.
“any group, with some common characteristic with which an organisation needs to
communicate, including the media, government bodies, financial institutions, pressure
groups, etc. as well as customers and suppliers”.
This is simply what it is the organisation wants to communicate to their publics to achieve their
aims and objectives.
Strategies are goal-orientated and guided by the organisation’s purpose.
Tactics are more focused day to day actions and tend to be more response oriented than
An effective plan needs a specific timeframe to keep the effort focused, and to produce a more
efficient and positive result.
There are three areas of resourcing that underpin PR work; human resources, implementation
costs and equipment. Having the right measure of these and an adequate budget is essential
in order to succeed.
Evaluation and Review
“It is vital to know whether the planned programme has done what it set out to do”.
(Tench & Yeomans, 2006:202)
Evaluation is an ongoing process, many misconceive it as a process that is complete once the
plan is, but evaluation should be considered from the start, as it is important to maintain
ongoing monitoring. Then finally once the plan is complete it is important to evaluate whether or
not the aims and objectives have been achieved, and if not, then why not?
Section 4: Situational Analysis
Before deriving a public relations plan and setting aims and objectives it is important to
understand the organisation’s current situation, so that SMART aims and objectives can be set.
There may be impediments, both internal and external to the organisation that will put
limitations on what can and cannot be achieved, to avoid disappointment and failure it is
important these before putting any plan into action. A situational analysis also allows you to
investigate the current publics’ perceptions and attitudes towards such an organisation and
allows the public relations team to establish what publics need to be targeted to achieve a
A traditional method of analysing a situation is a SWOT analysis, because it considers the
organisation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, typically a SWOT analysis will
look at each of these from two perspectives: internal and external.
However, to carry out a more thorough analysis that focuses on three aspects of the
organisation: internal, external and its public perception, a public relations audit (Appendix B)
can be carried out.
Section 4.a: Internal Environments
An analysis of the internal environments of an organisation has four parts to consider;
performance, niche, structure and internal impediments.
The performance of an organisation includes the goods or services offered and to what level of
quality these are provided.
- Greenacres currently provides kennels and catteries, it currently has space for 30 cats and 20
dogs, with only 4 members of full-time staff with 1 veterinarian and 2 veterinary nurses, the
level of care that is provided is questionable, it is not that the staff are incapable or unqualified
it is merely that such a vast job requires more staff. This is a problem that needs to be
overcome for Greenacres to expand.
A niche aspect of an organisation is what sets it out from other similar organisations; an
organisation’s niche is what makes it original.
- Greenacres at present does not have a niche; it is a simple, small organisation that basically
provides care for unwanted pets. It is very similar to thousands of other much larger
organisations that operate nationally and this is something which an effective public relations
plan could help to overcome.
A public relations audit must consider what public relations structure the organisation currently
has in place and how this operates in order to increase the efficiency of an existing operation or
to create a new effective public relations team.
- As well as 7 permanent staff Greenacres is also fortunate to have the services of
approximately 8 local volunteers on a part time basis. It is these staff that have been left to their
own devices to promote the sanctuary. None of these staff have any PR or marketing
experience and with the resources provided have done the best they can, however, the only
promotion Greenacres sanctuary has carried out is fly-posting and a little promotion at minor
local events. They have also managed to acquire small advertising mentions in the local
newspaper on occasion.
This part of the audit looks at the internal impediments that face the organisation; here we
consider any barriers that the organisation faces that could reduce the effectiveness of a public
- Having looked at Greenacres’ structure, niche and performance it is noticeable that there are
a few possible impediments, however, they are all manageable issues that the public relations
campaign will aim to overcome. Greenacres’ internal impediments are:
- It’s lack of staff
- It’s lack of funds
- The lack of a niche idea or a ‘hook’ to interest publics.
Section 4.b: Public Perception
Public perception consists of two elements; visibility and reputation.
To analyse the visibility of a small organisation such as Greenacres the most effective way was
to take our questions to the local public to acquire their opinions. We took a set of questions
(Appendix C) to shopping centres and public areas around West Yorkshire and Ilkley to obtain
a clearer view of the extent of Greenacres visibility and reputation.
The results of the questionnaire (Appendix D) show that visibility within the local community is a
small issue that could be worked on as only 34% of pet owners could name Greenacres Animal
sanctuary as a facility in the local area, 28% knew there are facilities available but either did not
know where, or named a competitor and was unaware of Greenacres. Therefore as part of the
public relations campaign it is important that we concentrate on improving the visibility of the
The other aspect of public perception; reputation, also appears to be an issue, only 72% of
those pet owners who have heard of Greenacres have used the service. Of those people we
asked them to rate each of the services individually.
The results (Appendix E) demonstrate that the public are pleased with the staff, but due to the
lack of staff, the level of care, both veterinary and aftercare are more deficient than they would
like. The other area that clearly requires improvement and is one of the aims set out within the
scenario is the facilities or lack of, as Greenacres is a small facility. However, an expansion
may help to overcome this issue; therefore this is an important aspect of the campaign to
emphasise to the publics.
Section 4.c: External Environment
To conclude the situational analysis it is important to consider the external environment. In
particular, we need to take a look at supporters, opponents, competitors and external
Most organisation’s have a group of supporters, people that currently or perhaps potentially
aim to help the organisation. These supporters can be an integral part of achieving any
objectives that the organisation sets out.
- Greenacres currently has a small group of supporters in its staff and volunteers from within
the local community. If Greenacres is to expand and be successful it is important to expand this
group of supporters throughout the community, perhaps rallying for support from schools or
Competitors are simply other organisation’s that provide the same or a similar service and are
competing to get the business of the same publics as you.
- There are numerous well known competitors to Greenacres that operate on a national scale
such as the RSPCA (example promotion, Appendix F), Pet Rescue and the National Animal
Welfare Trust. One thing that isn’t offered with these services is animal contact for your money;
this is one aspect we could consider to create a niche in the market. Also, these services do
not provide veterinarian care for owner’s pets; they merely care for rescued or unwanted pets,
a small part of Greenacres services.
- Locally, there are approximately 15-20 animal sanctuaries within the West Yorkshire area,
including RSPCA outlets, and specialised cat and dog rescue centres. Within 5 miles of Ilkley
there are only two rescue centres; Cats Protection and The Freedom of Spirit Trust for Border
Collies. There are also two other veterinarian surgeries in Ilkley; Ashley’s Veterinarian Centre
and Regent Veterinary Practice. However, there are no centres within Ilkley and its surrounding
area that provide kennels, catteries, veterinary care and a rescue centre.
There is also the possibility that an organisation’s have groups or people that are opposed to
what they do and a rivalry may exist. Opponents are different to competitors, as competitors
are rivals as they are competing for business whereas opponents literally oppose what your
organisation does, they may believe the business is unethical or they may simply disagree with
an organisation’s policies or objectives.
- Greenacres, as a charitable organisation is unlikely to have any serious opponents as they
are a small community-based organisation and their actions are not scrutinised or debated.
It is also possible that the organisation may face external obstacles that are out of the control of
the organisation and the public relations team. These need to be considered and may require
risk management and crisis management plans to be put in place to prevent any possible
interference. External impediments can come in the form of social, political or economical
Aside from competitors both nationally and locally, Greenacres faces other obstacles from the
- the nation is becoming more interest in technological advantages rather than the
environment and pets
- as the working population increases the number of pet owners falls as many do not
have time to care for animals
- There is also a lack of interest in volunteering
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- Property increases are reducing the income of publics, this minimises any money
they may have to spend on hobbies such as pets, or money to give as a donations
- There has been much speculation within the news and media that pets can be
unsafe, following several attacks on children over the past 12 months.
Unfortunately this may reduce people’s affection for animals and the likelihood of
them taking a pet.
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Section 5: Publics
“Publics... are people who detect a problem, communicate about that problem, and
behave as a loosely structured but unified collective in a manner that affects the
There are two steps to ascertaining and communicating with specific publics in a planned
public relations campaign. Firstly, it is important to identify the publics that the campaign aims
to target, as it is important for a campaign to target the right group of people to avoid wasted
communication, time and resources. Secondly, it is imperative to understand each public in
order to create a communication strategy that is suitable to the personality of the publics and to
develop a more effective strategy.
To identify publics it is important to understand that there are five characteristics of a public
- A public is distinguishable in that it is specific and identifies a particular group of
- A public is homogenous; each member will share various traits, features or
- There are many publics, but it is essential to establish which publics are important
to your campaign.
- It is also important that your chosen public(s) is large enough to be able to achieve
the aspired impact.
- There is also no point selecting a public that you are not able to communicate with,
it is vital that your publics are reachable
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From our initial thoughts and the fact the project is a local animal sanctuary we have identified
a few possible markets that we will narrow down into definite publics following further analysis:
- Local schools
- Local businesses
- Single individuals
- Local community
From the groups of people above and taking into account the five characteristics of a public we
have narrowed down our new target publics to:
- Children and parents at local schools
- Local businesses
- Part-time workers
And our current target publics are:
- Existing customers
- Current volunteers
The publics that the sanctuary would benefit the most from would be “active publics”. These
are groups that would be willing to discuss/organise events/publicity for the sanctuary. The
point of the advertising would be to turn “latent publics” (groups that fail to recognise that a
problem exists) into “aware publics” (groups that recognise the problem exists) and then into
Section 5.a: Community
Young children are a large group as they are usually very interested in small animals that they
sanctuary look after. Some children are unable to have pets of their own and a good way of
overcoming this is to be able to sponsor an animal, like the ones at the Greenacre Animal
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Targeting schools and nursery’s in the surrounding area would be the most affective way of
covering a large number of children. Children are not usually aware of companies/business
around them so advertising would have to be done to alert the children of the animal sanctuary.
This could be done by having an open morning at the sanctuary. This could be done at the
selected school or at the sanctuary. It would get children involved as they would be able to
play with the animals for a few hours and would hopefully encourage them to want to sponsor
Parents of the children would need to be provided with information about the sanctuary, this
could be done by providing a small leaflet. As the sanctuary is also a cattery/kennels it would
be profitable to advertise it on a wider scale so people/families with pets know there is a facility
for them to leave their animals while they are away.
Companies in the surrounding area could be a large source of sponsorship. It is always
profitable for a company to show a good attitude towards other business that could be
struggling, especially ones that can could be classed as a charity.
Section 5.b: Existing publics
Current customers do still needed to be reminded of the various facilities available such as
Current employees need to be targeted as they need to be encouraged to carry on with
volunteer work and would be a good source of information for people who want to know more
about the services provided/working as a volunteer.
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Section 5.c: Demographics
All of these publics would need to be in the surrounding area of about 30 miles as many people
would not be willing to travel more than about ½ an hour to get to a sanctuary/kennels.
These publics can be segmented into different groups. The geographic of a group (where they
live/work) is important as groups need to be in close range of the sanctuary so they feel it is
part of their community and want to be involved. There are various demographics in the groups
and this effects how much one group may be willing to become involved including age, gender
Adults who work full-time and own their own business may not be willing to become involved as
they do not have the time or they money, however young children (especially females) are at
the age where animals are desperately wanted, although income does hinder this group.
The psychographics of the groups is less important as this business is not one where many
people have strong opinions about as it is not a business that are trying to change
something/do controversial work.
It may be that many of the groups do not know much about the sanctuary as it does not have a
large budget to spend on advertising. It would be mainly word of mouth from the current
customers/current volunteers and owners of the sanctuary.
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Section 6: Aims and Objectives
Having carried out a situational analysis and taking into account the basic aims given to us in
the brief, and the major issues that were highlighted by the situation analysis we can start to
piece together the overall aims and objectives for the assignment.
Section 6.a: Aims
Aims are broader issues that need to be overcome or targets to achieve. They are far less
specific than objectives.
For Greenacres the aims of the public relations campaign are to:
- Raise money for new facilities, pet food and veterinary care
- Increase numbers of volunteers
- Improve publicity for the facility
Section 6.b: Objectives
Objectives are more defined targets that are put in place to help achieve the overall aims. As
well as being more specific in outcome, they can also be specific to each public, as this public
relations campaign is targeted at different publics, with different attitudes, behaviours,
characteristics etc, it is important to set more realistic goals for particular groups of people.
When setting goals, objectives or targets it is important to assure the following applies to all:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Achievable
R = Realistic
T = Timed
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The SMART principle sets out five criteria for a successful goal or strategy to follow:
- Specific; a more specific goal allows the team to be more focused on exactly what
it is they are trying to achieve rather than simply a vague idea.
- Measurable; there is little point in setting an objective that is not measurable as it
makes it more difficult to evaluate the process and it’s success.
- Achievable; objectives are more successful when achievable targets are set, it
keeps focus and motivation levels high, if people do not think they can reach a
target they are less likely to try and succeed.
- Realistic; realistic goals are more likely to result in success, for a small business
such a Greenacres it would be unrealistic to aim to raise £20 million in donations
from the local community.
- Timed; it is important to put a timeframe on an objective again this keeps
motivation levels high and focus on
Table 1.1: There are three different levels of objectives: (Source: Cutlip et al. 2000:198)
Cognitive Encouraging the target public to think about something or to
(means related to create awareness. For example, local government might want the
thoughts, reflection, local community to be aware that it is holding a housing information
awareness) day. The whole community will not need the service, but part of local
government’s reason for making them aware is so that they know what
a proactive and interested local council they have.
Affective Encouraging the target public to form a particular attitude, opinion
(means related to or feeling about a subject. For example, a pressure group may want
feelings, emotional moral support for or against gun ownership.
Encouraging the target public to behave in a certain way. For
(means related to example, the local hospital may use television to ask for emergency
behaviour, actions or blood donors following a major incident.
Section 6.c: Strategic and Tactical
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Objectives are generally split into two derivatives; strategic and tactical. Strategic objectives
combine a vague strategy (set of tasks) with a specific objective; these are then broken down
further into smaller tactical objectives; there may be more than one tactical objective to the
strategic objective, tactical objectives are specific to one task rather than a set of tasks and
consist of a tactic and a specific objective.
We have set the strategic and tactical objectives out (Table 1.2) in correspondence to the aim
and related to the particular public that the objective will be related to, I have also coordinated
the strategic objectives to coincide with the three levels of objective in Table 1.1 via a key
system: a – affective, b – conative (behavioural) and c-cognitive.
Aim Public Strategic Objective Tactical Objective
Local Businesses Capture interest in sanctuary Promote benefits of
Raise Money investment (c) involvement within the local
Local Schools Emotional appeal to attract Provide children with an
children’s attention (a) opportunity to help
Existing customers Promote benefits better facilities Newsletter to existing
would provide (c) customers to promote plans
Local Schools Propose educational benefits of Introduce hands on
Increase volunteering (c) opportunities for local
Existing customers Promote benefits of volunteering
(c) Introduce a reward system
within the community.
Existing volunteers Maintain performance levels (a)
Improve All Publics Create awareness of facilities Media promotions,
Publicity and benefits (c) leafleting, radio, local
Section 7: Message
Now we have decided on the key publics we need to target with this campaign the next
question we need to answer is ‘what should we say?’
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It is suggested that a journalistic approach has led to a focus on ‘message design and
dissemination to achieve awareness, to inform, to persuade – even manipulate’ (Heath
Messages can be limiting as they indicate one-way communication, as the sender merely
creates the message, sends it and then checks to see if it has been received. To create a two-
way communication strategy it is important to gather feedback from the receiver to create a
mutually beneficial relationship.
There a four steps in determining messages (Tench & Yeomans 2005:195):
1. Take existing articulated perceptions that encapsulate the issue or problem. For
example, it may be that the organisation is regarded as an old fashioned employer.
2. Define what realistic shifts can be made in those perceptions. If working practices and
policies have been completely overhauled, this needs explaining.
3. Identify elements of persuasion. Work in the basis of fact. For example, the
organisation may have introduced a crèche and family-friendly work practices. The
number of women managers may have increased by 25%; the organisation may have
achieved Investors in People status and won a major training award. All these facts
demonstrate that the organisation is not an old-fashioned employer, and should form
the platform for programme content. However, facts are rarely enough. People are not
just rational beings, so it is important to add human emotion to these facts. People
associate more readily with other people and their experiences rather than purely
factual information. For example, providing case studies that people can relate to in a
human way and which illustrate how the organisation operates as a social as well as
economical unit adds warmth and depth.
4. Ensure that the message or content is deliverable and credible through public relations
activity rather than via advertising or direct mail.
Section 7.1: Research – Local Schools
As messages are important to create an effective communication plan, as part of our research
we have spoken to members of our key target publics to see what it is they want out of
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Greenacres, so that we can create a mutually beneficial relationship and to demonstrate to the
publics that we welcome their input, and to provide us with information to create a better
message, taking into account the four elements of putting together the right message.
To ascertain what children want from Greenacres Sanctuary we visited several schools in the
area and spoke to kids ranging from the ages of 8-11. We asked them some questions and
noted their responses (Appendix G). The results (Appendix H) show that fewer than half of the
children we asked have pets but over 90% would like a pet, it is unknown the reasons for them
not having a pet, but questionnaires to the parents may resolve this issue.
Apart from a few over-imaginative children most pets wanted were traditional; cat, rabbit, dog
and hamster, two of which are currently catered for at Greenacres, therefore rabbits and
hamsters are two areas that the expansion could possibly cater for in the future. Over 90% of
children were interested in having visits to the sanctuary to see the animals.
To obtain information as to why many children want pets we derived a question for the children
to give to their parents (Appendix I). The results (Appendix J) show that parents do not have
pets in their homes for a variety of reasons; the most common are that they work full-time and
do not have the time to care for any pets. Parents also showed that many of their kids pester
them for pets and that they would be interested in paying a minimal fee, majority seeing £2-3
as a suitable sum.
Section 7.2: Research – Local Businesses
Local businesses could be a great source of income, from sponsorship or partnerships. To find
out what it is a local business would want from us in return for their investment, or what kind of
event they would be interest in getting involved with we set up meetings, to ask questions
(Appendix K) with several general managers at local businesses, businesses whose main
customer base includes families or pet-owners.
The results (Appendix L) show that a few of the businesses we spoke to would be interested in
a sponsorship or partnership deal, I think most of the businesses would be more likely to invest
after seeing more figures and plans for the expansion. Also several of the businesses said they
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would be interesting in attending a charity event in aid of the sanctuary, with the majority
choosing a dinner or auction as being most suitable.
Section 7.3: Message Content
Having spoken to many people from are two key target publics we have more idea of the type
of message required to effectively communicate with them and set up a relationship which will
be beneficial for the schools, the local businesses and generally the local community and will
also enable success for the expansion of Greenacres Animal Sanctuary.
Children at Schools
We believe that one of the best ways to communicate with the parents (the ones able to invest)
will be to direct communications more towards the children in the initial stages with an
emotional appeal as children have always been interested in animals and we aim to use that
fondness to encourage a contribution.
Once children have received the message we expect they will no doubt hound their parents,
this is when we would communicate with details about the opportunities available to them. The
message will emphasise the excellent facilities and staff and the need for financial support to
help the animals, again with an emotional appeal but still including a rational appeal. The
message will show the parents that there is a compromise and for a small monthly fee their
child can have a pet without it costing them their time or much of their money.
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Communicating with local businesses will require a different type of message, as well as
knowing they are doing good they will want to know the business sense of such an
involvement. Our message will show them the positive effect it will have for their reputation
within the community to be involved in the upkeep of a local charity. It will also provide publicity
for them towards their target publics.
To summarise, our key messages will be as follows:
Children: You can have a pet
Parents: Educate and compromise with your child with a part-time pet
Businesses: Involvement will reward you with a positive reputation within the community
Section 8: Strategy
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The next part of the planning model takes into account how the message is now going to be
distributed. This falls into two parts; strategy and tactics. Strategy is described as: the ‘overall
concept, approach or general plan’ (Cutlip et al. 2000:378); it has also been described as the
rationale behind the programme or the guiding principle.
The strategy comes from the issues that the organisation is facing and gathers ways in which
to come over them without going into detail as to how, as this is tactical.
From the objectives in Section 6 the strategies are as follows:
Capture interest in sanctuary investment
Emotional appeal to attract children’s attention
Promote benefits better facilities would provide
Propose educational benefits of volunteering
To promote the benefits of volunteering
Maintain performance levels
Create awareness of facilities and benefits
These strategies are aiming to overcome the issues that the sanctuary faces:
- Lack of funds
- Lack of volunteers
- No niche in the market
- Lack of publicity
Section 9: Tactics
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Tactics are clearly linked to strategy, tactics are the ‘events, media and methods used to
implement the strategy’ (Cutlip et al. 2000:378). In the case of Greenacres Animal Sanctuary
there are various strategies targeted at various publics, therefore there will be different tactics
for each public.
Section 9.a: Tactics for local schools
The strategies for local schools are to create an emotional appeal to attract children’s attention
and to promote the educational benefits of volunteering.
To start the campaign we would invite 10 local schools to bring one class for a couple of hours
on a visit to the sanctuary, they would be able to feed the animals, get involved with clearing
out and caring for the animals, see what the vets and nurses do and would be given a
promotional leaflet (Appendix M) about adoption opportunities to be given to their parents.
The visits from schools will take place over several weeks, with different schools being invited
on different dates, on a temporary basis this will increase Greenacres volunteer base as the
children will be allowed to take part in activities such as feeding, cleaning the kennels and
catteries out (obviously no-one will be forced to help with any of this).
The adoption process is the follow-up scenario, this allows the parents to donate money for
their child to keep seeing the animals, at a minimal fee of £3 a month we hope many parents
will take this up and this will give Greenacres some extra monthly income to spend on feed and
This will also give Greenacres a niche attraction as although many other rescue centres
nationally and locally run adoption schemes not many, if any, allow the adopter to visit and take
care of the pet in a safe and secure environment, the most other centres do is send newsletters
or postcards from the so-called ‘adopted pet’, also the Greenacres adoption scheme does not
restrict the adopter to a specific pet, if they choose to care for more than one animal on their
visits then this is their choice.
Section 9.b: Tactics for local businesses
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The strategy for local businesses is to capture interest in sanctuary investment.
Having interviewed several local businesses we established they would be interested in
attending a dinner or an auction evening, we have decided this would be the ideal opportunity
to promote Greenacres in a fun and entertaining way.
Our tactic is to hold an annual Charity Auction Dinner, to be held at Elland Road in Leeds and
as a cost of £700 a table (10 persons) or £75 per person. Invites (Appendix N) will go out to all
locally run businesses within 20 miles of Greenacres animal sanctuary. Businesses such as
supermarkets and pet shops would be particularly targeted as we would share the same target
customer base and therefore would both benefit from the relationship.
The evening would include a stand-up comedian, a speech by the manager of Greenacres
sanctuary explaining the work they do, the financial aspects of the business, the ways to get
involved and also the benefits received with getting involved. Following this, the pet auction will
take place, this will involve a parade of the animals and bids to be taken for each pet, and the
winner receives a plaque beside the pet’s bed to state that ‘Business A’ sponsors Rupert. They
will also receive a plaque for their business premises to say that they are involved with
Greenacres Sanctuary and that we in term support them.
Once all the pets have been auctioned off, there will then be the opportunity to bid to be
sponsor of a certain section of the sanctuary, either existing or proposed building, such as:
- Veterinary Surgery
- Rabbit hutch (proposed)
This will be an entertaining way to get the involvement of local businesses, the event will also
be announced to the press (Appendix O), and they will be invited along to take pictures of the
event and those businesses that got involved, this would increase their publicity and create a
more positive reputation.
Section 9.c: Reward tactics
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Other strategies of the planned public relations programme are:
- to promote the benefits better facilities would provide
- maintain performance levels of current volunteers
- to promote the benefits of volunteering
- to create awareness of Greenacres facilities and benefits through publicity
To keep the custom and interest of current customers it is important to make them aware of the
ever improving facilities and what benefits they will provide. To do this we will send out a
newsletter to all existing customers on file, this will detail the proposed expansion and outline
exactly what new facilities will be available, also as a gesture of ‘goodwill’ we will provide each
of them with one weeks free cattery or kennel stay.
To maintain the levels of current volunteers we will carry out regular interviews or checks to
ensure they are happy with the work they are doing and the support they are receiving from the
sanctuary and we will also provide free use of the facilities, excluding any veterinarian work.
To promote the benefits of volunteering we will contact all job centres and volunteer websites,
with information of opportunities available and posters and other promotional material within job
centres to outline the advantage of volunteering on a curriculum vitae and its ability to improve
your chances of job success.
To create awareness of Greenacres we will have leaflets (Appendix M) within all willing local
businesses centres, we will advertise within the local papers and on local radio stations and we
will ensure we have a presence at all major pet/animal functions or events within the Ilkley and
the surrounding area.
Section 10: Timescales
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Timing is an essential part of a public relations campaign, the tactics have shown that there are
a lot of things to do and therefore planning one’s time effectively will help increase efficiency.
Greenacres Animal Sanctuary’s campaign does not really include any imposing deadlines it is
merely an ongoing effort to improve their situation therefore timing is not as crucial as it could
be, to maintain maximum efficiency we have produced a critical path analysis (Appendix P).
Section 11: Resources
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There are three areas of resourcing that are considered within public relations work:
- human resources
- implementation costs
Section 11.a: Human Resources
For a plan of this size, with two major tactics it would most likely require two account managers,
one for local schools and one for local businesses, as these are also publics with such varying
personalities it would important to have to different types of account managers that have
experience working in their specified area. Another account manager may be required for the
reward tactics, however with some guidance it is possible that some of the volunteers within the
sanctuary could get involved in this.
Section 11.b: Implementation costs
As a public relations company we have taken this campaign on a pro-bono case therefore any
printing or designing would be done in house, distribution would be carried out by volunteers
from the sanctuary and the costs of the event would be recouped from the funds raised.
Section 11.a: Equipment
Again, as a Public Relations company we have all the equipment required for printing and the
tactics do not involve many other items of equipment, it is a low maintenance pro-bono based
plan. The venue and caterers for the event we would have to book through Elland Road, but as
it is a charity event and we have good relations with Elland Road we are hoping to book this at
a discounted rate.
Section 12: Evaluation
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As the public relations plan has not yet been carried out it is difficult to establish whether or not
the plan was successful. However, we will discuss how we would propose to go about
evaluating the programme using Macnamara’s model of evaluation (Appendix Q).
Macnamara’s evaluation model is a three-stage model; inputs, outputs and outcomes.
The input stage assesses the information and planning aspects of the campaign and has five
many questions or considerations (Macnamara 1992:28):
- Quality of message presentation
- Appropriateness of message content
- Appropriateness of medium selected
- How does the target audience prefer to receive information?
- What does target audience know, feel, think? What do they need or want?
Hopefully a lot of these we can evaluate as being carried out successfully due to the extensive
situational analysis and research that was carried out before the planning stage. However, we
would evaluate them in the following ways:
- Quality of message presentation – peer review and feedback from schools and
- Appropriateness of message content – readability tests and feedback from schools
- Appropriateness of medium selected – we feel it was specific and appropriate to
the target audience
- How does the target audience prefer to receive information? – we would carry out
interviews to assess how the partnership is going and if we should change
- What does target audience know, feel, think? What do they need or want? – We
assessed these aspects during the research stage and we hope with the message
content we selected that a majority of these needs/wants have been satisfied.
The output stage, this is usually the short-term effects or immediate results following the results
of the public relations programme and as the model shows is mainly quantitative, gathering the
financial and numerical results from the tactics put in place, in our case the number of children
adopting animals, the funds raised at the event and the number of sponsors involved. Also, for
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publicity purposes it is important for evaluation purposes to note the number of messages in
the media, all of these will help ascertain how well the messages reached the public.
The Outcomes stage is where we really see whether or not the plan was successful; it is an
indication of whether attitudes and behaviours have changed. For the purposes of Greenacres
Animal Sanctuary public relations plan, an increase in the number of volunteers would be an
indicator that we had changed attitudes and behaviours, also the number of adopters and
sponsors is an indication that attitudes towards pets has changed although behaviours may not
have changed dramatically.
Section 13: Review
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Again, a review is impossible to undertake until the plan has been put into action but it is
important to realise that public relations is in most cases an ongoing operation and not to forget
to review the campaign after the evaluation has been carried out. A review should take place
approximately 12 months after the campaign to see whether it has been successful, whether it
needs to continue or whether parts of the plan or the entire plan need to be changed.
There may also be new issues that need to be dealt with and therefore a new plan, tactic or
strategy may need to be put in place. However, as a personal overview of the plan, I think it is
very possible that this could be an effective plan and achieve the objectives that it initially set
Section 14: Bibliography
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CADV. (2003) Situational Analysis [Internet] Available from:
[Accessed on 3 January 2008]
Cutlip, S.M., A.H. Center and G.M. Broom (2000). Effective Public Relations, 8th edition. Upper
Saddle River, NJ:Prentice Hall International.
Grunig, J.E. (Ed.). (1992). Excellence in public relations and communication management.
Hillsdale, NJ:Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Heath, R.L. (2000). ‘Shifting foundations: Public relations as relationship building’ in Handbook
of Public Relations. R.L. Heath (ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage.
Macnamara, J.R. (1992). ‘Evaluation of public relations: the Achilles heel of the profession’.
International Public Relations Review 15(4): 17-31.
Pearson Education. (2004) Glossary [Internet] Available from:
[Accessed on 3 January 2008]
Office of Institutional Effectiveness. (2005) Goal Setting [Internet] Available from:
<http://www.nwhealth.edu/planning/documents/smart.pdf> [Accessed on 6 January 2008]
Smith, R.D. (2005). Strategic planning for public relations. Mahwah, NJ:Lawrence Erlbaum
Tench, R. and Yeomans, L. (2006). Exploring public relations. Harlow, Essex:Prentice Hall.
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