Creating communication plans is tough when you're doing it right. I've been using a short acronym to help me remember the steps for some recent PR planning and it made me think that we don't talk about PR planning enough.
It's crucial to put some forethought into your communication efforts. Admittedly, I have made what I believe is the mistake of taking an idea straight to the implementation phase (strategies/tactics) without much planning or analysis.
Sometimes this works. Sometimes it doesn't.
PR Plan Alphabet Soup
So what should you do? I've used RPIE (Research, Planning/Analysis, Implementation/Execution/Communication, Evaluation) for my PR planning taken directly from the Accreditation in Public Relations Study Guide.The outlined four-step process explains each section and gives questions as a guide. For me, it's as much a learning tool as it is a practical tool for public relations professionals.
"Public relations programs cannot be successful without proactive, strategic planning that includes measurable objectives, grounded in research and evaluated for return on investment"
- APR Study Guide
Research - Research is the systematic gathering of information to describe and understand a situation; check assumptions about publics and perceptions, and check the public relations consequences. Research helps define the problem and publics.
Planning/Analysis - Goals, audiences, objectives, strategies and tactics
Implementation - Execution of the plan or Communicating
Evaluation - Measure effectiveness of the program against objectives. Identify ways to improve and recommendations for the future. Adjust the plan, materials, etc., before going forward. This can serve as research for the next phase or program.
Here are a couple of other acronyms that might be useful.
Thanks to Mary Deming Barber for the REGOSATTBE acronym. She also shared a planning checklist document a while back that is a great, concise tool. (I love learning from PR people that are smarter than me.)
What about you? Do you use these or a different acronym method for your PR planning? Do you think PR people talk about PR planning enough? The comments are yours.
(Image credit: noeltanner via Flickr Creative Commons)