A well-defined, centred PR strategy can be the pathway to successful inception. The plan defines the goals, direction and outcomes of the campaign. Deliberate and concise planning is integral. Wilcox et al (2014) supported this by stating that a good PR program facilitates the organisations strategy and objectives in the areas on marketing, communication and overall business workings. Professionals in the field understand the combination of the vision and solid research based-planning, acting to align the strategy with the desired outcomes. (Daunt, 2015)
Insight: Public Relations Planning (2011) put forth that planning is at the heart of the PR industry and should hone their planning capabilities. Additionally, planning should encompass varying platforms including social media platforms. Daugherty (2003) asserted that research must be undertaken before planning can commence. Secondary information, what is published and readily available, is east to access. If this is not sufficient, primary research must then begin. Planning should take into consideration as much information needed to formulate a campaign strategy.
While there are varying theorems on how planning should be undertaken, there is no universal timeframe for the timeline of planning or when it should commence. An article published in Public Relations Tactics (1995) outlined how professionals have differing opinions on duration of planning. The timing spectrum of planning should alter based on each campaign and continue until adequate planning controls have been met.
Urban Outfitters is a company that been dealt a public blow due to poor planning and research. The company met public backlash for selling a t-shirt depicting an intoxicated Jesus (Casey, 2014). This is one example in a line of poor choices that illustrated Uo’s poor planning controls. Prior to the release, public reaction could have been foreseen. The lack of planning controls resulted in this PR fail
‘Insight: Public Relations Planning – PR competes for the best in planning skills’, 2011, Campaign Asia-Pacific, p. 30.
Casey, B 2014, ‘NFL and Urban Outfitters fail to follow the PR 101 playbook’, PRWeek (U.S. Edition), vol. 17, no. 10, p. 22.
Daugherty, E 2003, ‘Strategic Planning in Public Relations: A Matrix That Ensures Tactical Soundness’, Public Relations Quarterly, vol. 48, no. 1, p. 21.
Daunt, A 2015, ‘Focus on the Facts’, Public Relations Strategist, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 18-19.
Hollister, PH 1995, ‘Why public relations planning makes sense’, Public Relations Tactics, vol. 2, no. 2, p. 5.
Wilcox, Cameron, Reber and Shin (2014) Think Public Relations, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States of America. Chapter 9, pp. 182