Chapter 6: Program Planning

Program planning is the second step of the public relations process.  This step is labeled “A” because it is the Action part of the plan.  This is when the organization starts making plans to do something about an issue.  A good PR program needs an effective strategy to support an organization’s business, marketing, and communications objectives.

The 8 Elements of a Program Plan Include:

  1. Situation:  Three situations often prompt a PR program: (1) The organization must conduct a remedial program to overcome a problem.  (2) The organization needs to conduct a specific one time project to launch a new product.  (3) The organization wants to reinforce an ongoing effort to maintain its reputation and public support.
  2. Objectives:  Once you know the problem, you need to establish objectives to fix the situation.  Ask questions such as “Is it realistic?”
  3. Audience: PR programs should be targeted towards a specific audience.  Look at the demographics of the public such as age, income, and education.
  4. Strategy:  This is a broad statement that provides guidelines for the overall program.
  5. Tactics:  These describe the specific activities that put each strategy into effect and help achieve the objectives.
  6. Calendar/Timetable: This depends on the program.  Some may last a few months, and others could last more than a year.  There are three aspects involved:  (1) The Timing of the Campaign- It is important to take into account the environmental and the time when the key messages are most meaningful to the targeted audience.  (2) Scheduling of Tactics- A typical pattern is to focus the most effort at the beginning of the campaign.  (3) Compiling a Calendar- The PR pro has to think ahead to make everything happen in the right sequence at the right time. 
  7. Budget:  Usually the organization establishes the amount of money they would like to put into the project and asks the PR staff to write a plan with that budget.
  8. Evaluation:  Objectives must be measurable in some way to show clients and employers that the program accomplished its purpose.

This information was taken from the book  Public Relations Strategies and Tactics, Ninth Edition by Dennis L. Wilcox and Glen T. Cameron.

Published in: on April 21, 2009 at 8:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

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