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Activating the public relations campaign

1. Backgrounding the Problem
2. Preparing the proposal
3. Implementing the plan
4. Evaluating the campaign

Backgrounding the Problem

Situation analysis, background, or case statement that specifies the major aims of the campaign. It can be a general statement that refers to audiences, known research, the organization's positions, history, and the obstacles faces in reaching the desired goal into several subordinate objectives, which are the WHAT'S to be accomplished.

Preparing the proposal

The second stage of the campaign. sketches broad approaches to solve the problem at hand. This outlines the HOWS and the public relations tools to be used to fulfill the objective. Depending on the subject matter, generally include the following:
-Situational Analysis
-Scope of assignment
-Target Audiences
-Research Methods
-Key messages
-Communications Vehicles
-Project Team
-Timing and fees

Implementing the plan

the third stage of a campaign plan details operation tactics. Contains a time chart specifying when each action will take place. Specific activities are defines, people are assigned to them, and deadlines are established. Forms the guts of the campaign plan.

Evaluating the campaign

To find out whether the plan worked, evaluation methods should be spelled out here:
-Did we implement the activities we proposed?
-Did we receive appropriate public recognition for our efforts?
-Did attitudes change-among the community, customers, management- as a result of our programs?
Pretesting and post testing.

Budgeting for Public Relations

Public relations activities must be disciplined by budgetary realities.

Functional Budgeting

The rule in public relations agencies responsible for producing revenue. Dollars for staff, resources, activities, and so on are linked to specific revenue-generating activities. Employees are required to turn in time sheets detailing hours worked in behalf of specific clients.

Administrative Budgeting

Organizations where public relations is a "staff" activity and not responsible for revenue generation use this. Budget dollars are assigned generally against the department's allocation for staff and expenses.

Two steps in budgeting

1. Estimating the extent of the resources, both personnel and purchases, needed to accomplish each activity
2. estimating the cost and availability of those resources.

Pay-for-performance Contracts

Growing number has emerged. The buyer pays only for what he or she gets, meaning that fees are based on the depth of coverage and the circulation or audience rating of the venue in which coverage appears. If no coverage is achieved, no fee is paid.

Expenses and Markup

Expenses- out of pocket costs, meals, hotels, transportation, charged back to clients at cost.

Markup- when an agency pays in advance or larger expense items, printing, photography, graphics, design- standard industry practice to mark up such expenses by a factor of approximating 17.65%. Vast majority of agencies use this. Borrowed from advertising profession.

Public relations Department

Staff professional in a public relations department of a corporation, university, hospital, sports franchise, political campaign, religious institution, etc whose task is to support the primary business of the organization.

Departments range from one person to far flung networks of hundreds of people, such as the U.S. dept. of defense, Johnson & Johnson or ExxonMobil.

Trending away from Public Relations and towards Corporate Communications

Public Relations Agency

A line professional in a public relations agency, whose primary task is to help the organization earn revenue.

Biggest difference between Dept. and Agency is perspective. Agency is outsider looking in, Dept. is inside looking out.

Biggest difference between a Public Relations Agency and Department

Perspective. Agency is outsider looking in, Dept. is inside looking out.

Use of Agency over department

Escape tunnel-vision syndrome that afflicts some firms. An agency is unfettered by internal corporate politics, and might be better trusted to present management with an objective reading of the concerns of its publics.

Difficult part of agency work

Retaining clients.

Silver Anvil Award

Symbolizing the forging of public opinion, is awarded annually to organizations that have successfully addressed a contemporary issue with exemplary professional skill, creativity and resourcefulness.

Four-Step Process of Silver Anvil Award



Public Relations Society of America

Bronze Anvil Award

Recognize outstanding public relations tactics — the individual items or components that contribute to the success of an overall program or campaign. These tactics — whether a media relations program, website, annual report, podcast, blog or use of social media or word-of-mouth — are the hardworking parts of any public relations program.

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