A lot of outlining goes into a public relations plan before it can actually be carried out. Before the execution of the plan, research must be done to get to know the client and the problem or situation. Once the situation has been assessed, we can move on to program planning to decide what course of action is best for the client. During program planning we identify the goals, objectives, strategies and tactics for our client. The success of our strategies and tactics relate directly to how well thought out our goals and objectives are.
A goal is a desired result that aligns with a person or organization’s overall mission. A goal is a simple statement of what you want to do. It is the overall purpose of a PR Plan. For example, a goal can be to improve your organization’s reputation, to boost the number of visitors to a specific location or to increase the number of positive customer service reviews. For further explanation during this post, let’s say I am a part of the PR team at Kennesaw’s new brewery, Southern Sky Brewing. An example of a goal for this company would be to create a positive reputation within the city of Kennesaw.
Objectives outline the what, when and how of your goal. Objectives support our goals and help them to be achieved. We should ensure that our objectives are always SMART- specific, measurable, attainable, research-based, and time-bound. A reasonable objective for our goal would be to increase community involvement by 30% by the end of May 2016.
Strategies and tactics can be complex to begin with but with a little explanation and practice can become second nature. In this video, American Majority National Executive Director, Matt Robbins is able to make the difference between strategy and tactic a bit clear to his viewers.
A public relations strategy is how we plan to achieve our goal and objectives. This is where we are able to brainstorm to put together a plan of action to achieve our goal. An example strategy would be to proactively reach out to local organizations and charities to develop partnerships
Tactics are all the little things that we do to achieve our strategies. Our tactics are the nuts and bolts of the plan. This is where all of the action occurs to reach our goal and is the most visible part of the plan. An example tactic for this strategy would be to partner with KSU’s Panhellenic Council to host a charity night where a percentage of sales are donated to the organization’s philanthropy, Circle of Sisterhood. The tactic of partnering with a local organization would not only draw a positive reputation in the eyes of the community but would also expose itself to a crowd that otherwise would not know of this rising company.
In public relations, strategies and tactics are often times confused. For me, the easiest way to differentiate between the two is to remember that with strategies, we use our brains (for example: planning the action) and for tactics, we use our hands (for example: performing the action). I can thank a blog by Jeremiah Owyang for helping me remember that. When it comes to strategies and tactics, one cannot exist without the other. Without the planning there could be no action, and without the action there could be no plan.