To Plan or Not to Plan?

Public Relations is the industry of persuasion and with that comes excessive planning from individuals who are taught to examine every single aspect of everything – its exhausting. However, PR is also a very unpredictable industry and so planning for each and every possible outcome is pretty much unattainable.

So the question to you lovely readers is: to plan or not to plan?

New year, new plan, right?

PR planning is the process of reassessing your previous work and in the process either feeding your ego or scrutinising each and every move you made. After this stage it is up to you to set new objectives and create new strategies to formulate a clear and precise plan for the upcoming year/s.

BUT…

As we all know too well, nothing is as simple as it seems. As previously mentioned, the PR industry is extremely unpredictable. I mean, who could be prepared for Linda and her keyboard warrior tribe to boycott your social media accounts over the most minute problem?

You must be flexible and prepare for the worst.

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DO NOT PANIC. Nothing good will ever come from a panicked situation. Remain calm, always.

GIF Source

Here are the pros and cons of PR planning:

PROS

  1. Uncover new opportunities

Do research, collect and analyse data and uncover valuable information that could be useful towards the end plan.

Who doesn’t love coming across new information that could lead to the success of your business? I know, it makes you feel as though you need to be promoted to director but do not forget that it wasn’t your information.

Do not copy.

Run with that information and use your expertise to formulate a new plan with someone else’s genius input. Its all about that USP.

2. Preparation for media relations

Have you ever been caught off guard by questions from the media or the public? Join the club.

A detailed and precise plan that is clear to each person involved is necessary. Make sure your team is fully briefed on the important messages that need to be conveyed to save yourselves the embarrassment of looking as though you have no idea what planet you are on.

Also, everyone should be informed of knowledge surrounding specific clients and their needs. Creating relationships and delivering focussed and catered content is, ultimately, one of the most important parts of PR.

3. Important for crisis management (or prevention)

A crisis situation is something that no organisation wants to think about. It sends shivers down their spines. A good PR plan will include details of crisis management and image restoration.

You must create and implement a strong and thorough crisis plan and equip yourselves, beforehand, with the essential tools and prioritise the the importance of brand messages.

You must have the capabilities of responding quickly and effectively.

Please follow protocol and make sure every individual is briefed so that you do not enter the world of PR nightmares. It will keep you up at night.

CONS

Below is a video that features an argument against PR planning:

Video Source

Personally, I am obsessed with planning. Not just for work/educational purposes but within my every day life. I write notes for everything. EVERYTHING.

PR planning can be very time consuming but it is a chance to generate new ideas and opportunities and give yourselves peace of mind during your day-to-day operations knowing that you have planned for each situation that may occur.

No. You cannot plan for every single thing and things are subject to change, however, having a clear and defined plan could be used as a template for unexpected situations and would be more time efficient than starting from scratch.

My answer? plan.

Plan like your job depended on it because it ultimately does.

– Liam

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