Published on Sunday 27th March 2016
PLANNING A PUBLIC RELATIONS CAMPAIGN
Figure One: Planning, Source: Google Images
Musgrave (1976) suggests the difference between a successful and unsuccessful PR campaign is determined by the level of planning and the degree of execution. To achieve success an individual must set clear objectives, use appropriate communicate methodologies to target the public, and follow a timeline (Bowen, Rawlins, Martin, 2011).
Horn (2013) articulates that most PR practitioners commence the planning process of the PR campaign soon after evaluating all aspects of the campaign.
John Marston’s RACE formula is a popular model used by most PR practitioners in establishing a PR campaign (Turney, 2011). Rios (2015) diagram displays Marston’s RACE formula.
Research is a vital aspect to consider when laying out the foundations of a PR campaign (Wilcox et al., 2013, p. 90). According to Melichar (2015) the research component of any PR campaign will provide the fundamental frameworks for the campaign.
A situation analysis is conducted to fully and clearly understand the current status of an issue and how that corresponds with the campaigns objectives (Wilcox et al., 2013, p. 105).
A strategy statement provides set guidelines that articulates how the campaign will achieve its goals and objectives (Wilcox et al., 2013, p. 107). In this process, PR practitioners should develop a timeline that clearly displays all campaign tasks, expectations, and deadlines that are to occur throughout the campaign.
PR practitioners should develop their campaign based on a clear understanding of who their target public is (Bowen, Rawlins, Martin, 2011). PR practitioners should ask themselves; who they want to build a relationship with, what they expect from that relationship, and what the individual can do to achieve that relationship (Bowen, Rawlins, Martin, 2011). Therefore the campaign is specifically designed and aimed at a particular target public.
Melichar (2015) suggests that by identifying possible implications that could occur throughout the campaign will enable the PR practitioner to develop appropriate strategies to effectively determine how the campaigns goals and objectives will be achieved.
A successful PR campaign should utilise effective communication methodologies and processes which will enable the individual to target the public and address campaign goals and objectives sufficiently (Turney, 2011).
Most PR practitioners analysis previous PR campaigns to determine if all goals and objectives have been met, and to measure the campaigns overall performance (Bowen, Rawlins, Martin, 2011). When campaign goals and objectives are not achieved, PR practitioners should identify areas of improvement (Wordstorm, 2014). Analysing the strengths and weaknesses of previous campaigns should be undertaken to assist in ensuring the success of future campaigns (Wordstorm, 2014).
Bowen, Rawlins, Martin. (2011). Mastering Public Relations, v.10. Retrieved from Constructing the strategic plan for a public relations campaign: http://catalog.flatworldknowledge.com/bookhub/reader/5573?e=bowen_1.0-ch09_s01
Dennis W, Glen C, Bryan R, Jae-Hwa S, (2013), Think Public Relations.
Horn, S 2013, ‘Social media’s online advantage: The evolution of public relations to digital communications’, Public Relations Tactics, vol. 20, no. 1, p. 16.
Melichar, C 2015, ‘Partnering for Success: Effective Public Relations and Development’, Public Relations Tactics, vol. 22, no. 10, p. 18.
Musgrave, P 1976, ‘Eleven steps for planning and evaluating your public relations campaign’, Management Review, vol. 65, no. 8, p. 42.
Turney, M. (2011). Retrieved from Acronyms for the public relations process: http://www.nku.edu/~turney/prclass/readings/process_acronyms.html
Wordstorm. (2014, December 3). Retrieved from Developing an effective public relations campaign and marketing plan in six easy steps: http://wordstormpr.com.au/blog/developing-effective-public-relations-campaign-marketing-plan-6-easy-steps/