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Strategic Planning for Public Relations

Beginning the Journey

Tricia Hansen-Horn and Adam E. Horn

Strategic Planning for Public Relations: Beginning the Journey is written for the next generation of public relations professionals. It takes account of the changing needs of the PR industry, where strategic thinking is needed in abundance but tends to be in short supply among many people who are just launching their careers. This book is designed to address this shortfall by providing a multi-level understanding of strategy to show how it directly correlates to successful public relations. The book’s conversational tone and real world chapter exercises move the reader from insight to strategic vision and application. Exercises at the end of each chapter are designed to help students further explore, reflect on and apply what they have learned. The book’s unique approach to strategy and strategic planning provides the tools for students becoming strategists first and tacticians second – essential criteria for successful public relations professionals.


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Strategic Planning for Public Relations: Beginning the Journey is a text for the next generation of public relations colleagues-in-training. Its unique approach to strat- egy and strategic planning should help transform its readers into strategists first and tacticians second. Many of the discussions and chapter exercises included in the book are a result of the lively discussions and strategic efforts behind the 2007 debut of the University of Central Missouri public relations program’s Strategic Planning & Research for Public Relations course. A spring 2013 roundtable led by Council of PR Firms and Fleishman-Hillard President and CEO David Senay would agree with initiatives such as ours. A conclusion of the Council’s recent roundtable was that “the curriculum at many colleges has changed over the past five years. Social and digital media now figure more prominently. Meanwhile, the talent needs of PR firms are changing. Tactically, today’s interns seem strong, but participants agreed that firms also need deeper, more strategic thinking.”1 Strategic thinking is needed in abun- dance in the public relations profession but tends to be in short supply among most people just launching their careers. We want to change that. Those who read and actually use the ideas in the book will move along a nine-chapter journey, supplemented by an important appendix, designed to develop them xii | Strategic Planning for Public Relations: Beginning the Journey as contextually and rhetorically sensitive public relations professionals who approach public relations from a broadly defined business-kind-of-mindset. At each chapter’s end is a Chapter Exercises...

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