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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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1. The Essence of Public Relations

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1The Essence of Public Relations All public relations professionals are students of public relations and the world around them. They have to be. The fast-changing industry, the speed at which communication takes place, and continuing business fluctuations guarantee that we need to keep learning. Like an excellent athlete, a good public relations person is always in training. In fact, our ability to achieve public relations excellence is to know what it really is and then to clearly understand strategy, what it is to be stra- tegic, and how to engage in strategic planning. That is why we are passionate about putting together this book for you. As the consumers of what we have written here, we know you question the credibility with which we broach this topic; it is natural to do that. So, to answer your question, we provide a bit of background for you. As the authors of Strategic Planning: Beginning the Journey we have a long history of teaching and training. We train future colleagues, even if most of them are college students. Most professionals readily accept that business-initiated training is a neces- sary lifelong endeavor once they leave the classroom, but many assume that learning through teaching is something different. They figure that kind of learning ended when they graduated from the last school they attended. We disagree. We train and teach. We take this philosophy with us as we introduce others to our profession. To us, each individual we work with is a professional-in-training. You...

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