Planning Public Relations
Organizational planning in the work of public relations is carried out in a manner similar to the principles of building similar planning documents in other business or marketing events. As a rule, this work can be represented in the following consecutive stages:
• studying, analyzing and evaluating the current situation;
• Definition and setting of intermediate tasks and the resulting goal;
• selection of application objects and target audiences;
• Definition of the most appropriate and effective methods of implementation and scenario features;
• Calculation of resource costs and estimates of material costs;
• Estimating the expected results.
Assessing the situation. The study helps PR professionals and organizations assess the current situation in the foreseeable future. Often the main problem that remains outside the attention of specialists in the study is a mixed or diffuse corporate image. It requires constant vigilance of PR specialists (spin doctor - news management, information actions aimed at creating a favorable image of the event or person) in order to maintain the positive image and reputation of your company . As an example, we can cite a situation in which, thanks to gossip in the consumer community and the media that the origin of its logo is associated with the satanic cult, Procter & amp; Gamble & quot ;. In order to suppress the negative opinion, fueled by rumors, this company took an immediate and costly response through its PR service.
Goals and target audiences. After evaluating the current situation, PR specialists can begin to identify the main tasks that arise in connection with the special marketing communications program to promote the advertised product On the market. Most often, representatives of the customer firms with the help of Public Relations are trying to change some aspects or nuances in the opinion of the society regarding their organization. But public opinion, by and large, is something intangible, changeable and difficult to control. Since the influence of the activities of PR professionals is often hidden from the public's attention and is difficult to understand, it can take a long time to be manifested. Therefore, the formulation of meaningful PR goals is particularly problematic. The bulk of public relations goals relate to information of a special kind - the expectations, opinions and feelings of consumers or even the behavior of people. For example, researchers can measure how many people attended the event funded by the company after the information spread about the event, and PR specialists define their goal to achieve attendance of this event by a hundred-thousandth audience.
Potential target audiences in PR should be studied as carefully as the audience for the advertising campaign. The more public relations specialists know about each audience, the better the corresponding PR messages will be drawn up. They must skillfully answer the following questions about the content of the target audience: who are these people; what are the social institutions or public organizations that should be achieved by the efforts of PR specialists; where they are located and what is the most effective way to establish contact with them; what they believe and what they feel about the company, etc.
Realization of the planned plans. When PR-specialists develop strategy and tactics of impressive influence, determine which audience will act as target, then after that they will pass to the decision of the issue organization and implementation of their plans. This stage includes the selection of special tools and methods of Public Relations, decisions on the forms, method and time of delivery of a PR message.
Creation of information reasons for the purpose of increasing popularity (publicity, publicity, etc.) - publicity - should also be adapted to the specific perception conditions of the target audience. Techniques such as specialized TV news releases or correction of information in the Internet space work well in a free established democratic society, say, in Italy or France, which have branched electronic means of information delivery, but will be less effective in conditions of strict state control and censorship .
In an integrated public relations campaign, when mixed events from different areas of influence are involved in the process, an important place is played by the coordination of time and the sequential order of the applied elements of PR actions.
Budget and Rating . In order to find harmony between the needs of planned PR activities and the budgetary constraints of the contracting authority, people planning public relations actions should clearly be aware of what they can expect to properly fulfill their tasks. PR-specialists must know exactly, and not assume the cost of the project and the resources available for its implementation. For example, it is considered that publicity in the form of information PR-text gets a place in the news stories of the media without paying commissions. At first glance, this is often so. There is no direct payment, but it can hardly be considered free. In fact, a lot of effort and resources are involved in order to establish contacts with representatives of the media and prepare a successful "pass-through" press release, in order to eventually organize a "free" publicity. The cost of costs for certain moments, for example, such as the preparation and publication of a specialized brochure, the creation and dissemination of newsletters, the production and display of video films with PR news or the costs of special events for an interested audience can be calculated. And only then does a legitimate budget issue arise: what can the customer enterprise afford?
One of the studies conducted by foreign scientists showed that approximately 97% of employees working in Public Relations believe that PR professionals need to constantly monitor the impact of their programs, despite the difficulty of measuring results in this area. Activities in PR are usually evaluated using formal and informal research methods.
Informal techniques include recording the attendance of PR events by target group representatives, the number of informal interviews or registering the number of questions addressed to speakers on the prepared action.
Formal research methods use focus groups, content analysis and monitoring of public activity and public opinion for some time. Focus Groups can be used to measure the quality impact of PR materials or messages to target audience members prior to the official distribution of these materials. PR analysis can show what is being reported, where, how many people, for what time period, in what means of delivery of information and how in them the coverage of certain facts varies in time. Monitoring of public and public opinion demonstrates the connection of PR activities and public opinion in time. It can include weekly ongoing surveys or the counting of information messages that appeared in the press.
Integration of Public Relations. The success and effectiveness of PR activities depends to a large extent on how well they are coordinated and involve other types of marketing communications. According to various estimates of scientists, 70 to 90 percent of PR specialists believe that integration with other types of marketing is a necessary condition for modern effective PR-impact. Unfortunately, for the most part, domestic companies often do not pay enough attention to this issue. There are objective reasons for this. Historically, PR communications have been separated from marketing communications in general. Thus, they often played little or no role in managing or planning the overall strategic communications program of the company. This historical isolation arose partly because of the "expense" the nature of the work performed by the PR department, and partly because of the attitude towards people working in this field. Since management often does not view PR as a source of profit and can hardly determine the impact of PR actions on the company's financial position, managing managers who are rigidly oriented to earning an income can underestimate the prospective significance of PR. This attitude is strengthened when people engaged in public relations, who have received journalistic education and who have insufficient knowledge of business, do not consider the promotion of sales and the increase in sales or profit as part of their professional duties.
In order for Public Relations to begin to play an appropriate role in the overall communications program, it is necessary to admit to the specialists themselves and to convince the company's management that PR practice is the management of production and communication relations, that PR is the core of the marketing communications program. All communications aimed at success and profit can and should be built on the basis of an overall marketing strategy. The overall strategic program should be aimed at the overall result.
Investigations by leading marketers show that consumers often pay serious attention to the positive image and socio-social position of a particular company, and this information is determined in a significant way by their buying preferences and decisions. For example, after a sensational accident with an accident on Leninsky Prospekt in Moscow with the participation of the car of the company's vice-president, "Lukoil" and especially because of the position taken by representatives of this company, a huge number of motorists stopped using the services of gas stations owned by this corporation, regardless of product quality and price policy. Integration of PR communications with other related types of interaction is especially necessary in those areas where there is a intersection of PR with other means of marketing communications. Corporate advertising, conducted in the interests of Public Relations, partially overlaps with ordinary advertising and is able to strengthen the advertising message and a positive image of a particular brand.
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