Strategic Planning for Public Relations

Strategic Planning for Public Relations

Strategic Planning for Public Relations

Strategic Planning for Public Relations


This innovative text offers a new way of understanding public relations and other types of strategic communication. Following the pragmatic, in-depth approach of the first edition, this text presents a step-by-step unfolding of the planning process most often used in public relations practice. Drawing from his experience in professional practice and in the classroom, author Ronald D. Smith walks readers through the critical steps for the formative research, strategic and tactical planning, and plan evaluation phases of the process. Complete with clear explanations, relevant examples, and practical exercises, this text identifies and discusses the various decision points and options in the development of a communication program. Both classic public relations situations and current, timely events are presented in cases and examples throughout. This second edition offers, new examples and updates on research, and provides new discussions on critical topics, including stereotyping and statistics. As a classroom,text or a resource for professional practice, this volume provides a model that can be adapted to fit specific circumstances and used to improve effectiveness and creativity in communication planning. It serves as an accessible and understandable guide to field-tested procedures, offering practical insights that apply to public relations campaigns and case studies coursework.


Strategic Planning for Public Relations offers college and university students a new way to deepen their understanding of public relations and other kinds of strategic communication. It is intended for people serious about entering a profession that is rapidly changing, shedding a past that often involved merely performing tasks managed by others and taking on a newer, more mature role in the management of organizations.

This book provides an in-depth approach to public relations planning, more comprehensive than can be found anywhere else. It is built on a step-by-step unfolding of the planning process most often used in public relations, with explanations, examples and exercises that combine to guide students toward a contemporary understanding of the profession.

The approach used in Strategic Planning for Public Relations is rooted in the author's belief and observation that students learn best through a three-fold pattern of being exposed to an idea, seeing it in use, and then applying it themselves. This is the rhythm of this book—its cadence, if you will. This is the design that takes a complex problem-solving and decision-making process and turns it into a series of easy-tofollow steps.

This second edition of Strategic Planning for Public Relations follows the same format as the first edition. It updates examples and incorporates recent research. It also adds a few new sections, particularly a section on stereotyping in Step 3 and a section on statistics in Step 6.

Note to Students

Thank you for allowing me to share my ideas and insights into a profession that I have found to be challenging and rewarding. I wish you much success as you proceed toward a career that I hope you, too, will discover to be exhilarating.

I stumbled into public relations somewhat by accident, at least not by my own conscious design. I began my career as a newspaper reporter, and later as an editor, with some side trips into television writing and producing. I then made the transition into public relations—at first building on a familiar base of media relations, publicity and newsletters, and only later navigating into issues management, crisis response, integrated communication, and a host of related areas. Along the way, I incorporated the new technological developments (particularly desktop publishing, e-mail and the Internet) and wonder how we once managed without these tools. Frankly, I wish there had been a book like this to guide me toward an understanding of how to do public relations, especially the research and planning parts. So I'm pleased to be able to share with you some of the insights I've picked up along the way.

With this book and the practical exercises that go with it, you are proceeding along the road to professional success. I wish you the best of luck.

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