The Role of Public Relations in Driving Strategic Business

Posted by Rachel Esterline on Nov 10, 2008 in event planning, National Conference, PRSSA, Public Relations, Strategic Planning

2008 PRSSA National Conference

The Role of Public Relations in Driving Strategic Business
Kathryn Oldham, Director of Corporate Communications, Little Caesar’s Pizza

Kathryn Oldham spoke at the conference about strategy. She suggests using strategic documents to keep programs on track. These documents demonstrate thorough thinking and planning when you are presenting to company leaders. Strategic documents allow you to track the roles and responsibilities of others, helps keep people informed on program details and help measures results.

Ask the following questions to develop a strategic document:

  • What do you need to know?
  • What do company leaders need to know?
  • What does your extended team need to know?
  • What types of issues and challenges might the program face?
  • How do different aspects of the program fit together?
  • Who needs to be involved

A strategic document should contain the following:

  • Overview
  • Key messages
  • Event schedule
  • Media plan
  • Story angles
  • Internal communication
  • Identification of open issues
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Contacts
  • Budgets
  • Lessons learned (afterward)

The overview should contain the five W’s and the H: who, what, when, where, why and how

Key messages will be what you want the media focus on and broadcast.

The event schedule should contain names of who is in charge of certain duties and their deadlines.

The media plan should be strategically focused on how you will develop media interest, get on their calendars. You should prepare releases, b-roll and interviews.

Story angles need to be made interesting for a variety of segments of the media. What would local be interested in? National? Niche?

Internal communication is important in building pride within the organization. This might include working with internal newsletters, Web sites, voicemail, etc.

Open issues are issues that need to be addressed. For the Veteran’s program, open issues included reaching out to social media, materials, locations, rehearsals, weather, parking, travel, budget and contingency plans.

Roles and responsibilities are important in determining who is in charge of what, especially if you are working with agencies.

Oldham suggested you follow up with the media with thank you notes. As we all know, relationships are extremely important in PR. These relationships come in handy when you are trying to expand a story to get more coverage or if you are trying to get coverage of media opportunities such as anniversaries, grand openings or awards.

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