Goals, strategies, objectives, tactics….it’s enough to make the PR planning process feel as much like getting your eyelashes died (stinging, tearing, lots of blinking and terror-filled “when will it stop!” thoughts racing through your mind) than anything.
The next time you sit down to rock out a smart, sizzling and strategic PR plan, first make sure your planning process is up to code by ensuring it includes the following components.
Extra points if you can memorize and then recite the key differences between objectives and strategies. Prepare to watch your client/boss melt with awe because seriously, most of us have flubbed this up at least once or twice.
Behold, your PR plan cheat sheet:
Think of goals like overarching long-term needs/hopes and dreams. They are typically broad, abstract and potentially difficult to quantify.
Example: US-based Lottie Lingerie wants to become a well-known brand in the UK.
Think of objectives like those desired achievements that will assist with meeting the determined goals. They are statements of intent that explain what needs to happen, what needs to be achieved, or where the brand needs to be in order for goals to be met. They also need to be expressed in concrete, measurable terms.
Tips for writing PR objectives
- Start with an action verb – words like increase, reduce, improve, maintain work well
- If you are using “by” you are writing a strategy, not an objective. Try again.
Example: To secure 15 blog posts on UK-based style blogs within 2 months
One step down in the PR planning process are the strategies. Poor strategies, they are the most misunderstood of all! Strategies are simply the “how” that, when done correctly, will help to ensure you meet your stated objective. Your strategies are also the guidelines that set up the strategic direction of your programs (ie your tactics).
Tips for writing PR strategies
- Use action verbs like Develop, Create, Promote, Target, etc
- Did you just write Develop a look book to….. sorry kitten, strategies do not include the “to” phrase. The “to” in this case is to meet the stated objective. The stinker.
- Also omit your tendancy to use “by” – as in “Promote my brand by developing a look book to – that look book you are all amped about? That, my friend is a tactic. What you DO with that look book is your strategy.
Example: Promote Lottie Lingerie through personalized pitches to 50 UK-based style bloggers
Oh tactics…these are the specific “who’s” and “whats” that define your program and plan. Seems silly it took so long to get here, right? But here we are. Tactics are specifics, they are action items.
Tips for writing PR tactics
- Tactics work best when accompanied by verbs like Implement, Utilize, Add, Contact, or Participate.
- Add measurable outcomes like dates.
Example: Add 50 UK-based style bloggers to media list by next Tuesday.
And there you have it! Follow these tips while working on your next PR, Marketing, Social Media, digitally integrated holistic 360 plan of world domination, and hopefully find yourself spending less time on the planning and more time on the wowing. After all, what is it they say? You’re only as good as your last wow? Kidding again. Give yourself a hug.