Speaking about the public relations planning, you should first learn what is hidden behind the notion ?public relations?. Generally, PR means a professional promotion of a company's favorable public image. It deals with establishing an excellent reputation, managing and planning the way any organization is viewed and perceived by its audiences, it also helps convince people in the company's importance and its positive impact on the society.
The public relations planning means you decide on the information you want to communicate, choose to whom, when and in what way you are going to deliver. It is not a secret that one wrong step and the reputation is tarnished. It can be easily lost if the messages a company is trying to communicate have nothing to do with the reality.
Therefore, the public relations planning has an important role to play in any organization, as it directly contributes to its success through establishing relationships with target groups and creating a public opinion.
In details, the public relations planning is very important, since it gives you a chance to focus on the priorities you set, it makes you think over longer term goals, it helps show the value of money by presenting a cohesive program and pointing to the past. Moreover, PR objectives will be something you can evaluate your performance against.
Planning is essential, but all planning methods are different. Some of them require a very little preparation and are easy to take a benefit from; the others, on the contrary, require more time and efforts. It happens due to the importance the specialists attach to planning: it is either insignificant or life-saving in this or that situation. On the whole, there are plenty of approaches to the PR planning.
Sometimes, a quick planning may be very effective, but in most cases a slower and more methodical PR planning brings more fruits.
Usually, public relations practitioners do two types of planning ? a strategic communication planning (deals with an overall focus and long-term goals) and a tactical planning (it is often focuses on a specific time period). Tactical objectives help any organization proceed toward the implementation of its long-range goals.
The best starting point for the PR planning is to review the company's mission statement and goals. In other terms, you summarize what the company is and what it wants to accomplish. Thus, you get the focus on every decision you make and every action you take.
In brief, strategic public relations plans include an audience and a goal identification step, which help you answer who your key target audiences are, and why, and what view you want this audience to have of your organization . Then, it covers reporting research findings of your audience's current view of your organization, the issues that are the most important to them and media they use and trust. The assessment and plan development stage includes a comparison of your audience's current view of your company with the desired one, a consideration of message themes, the best ways to reach your audience and a decision upon the primary contact for working with the audience.
Tactical plans deal with selecting and setting short-term objectives and actions, necessary to reach these objectives. The most important issue about plans is that they need to be checked and updated, they should be flexible to reflect adequately the changes in the conditions they describe so that they fit the reality and effectively fulfill their prior function ? the promotion of a company's favorable public image.