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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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9. Applying Strategic Planning


9Applying Strategic Planning We have arrived at three important conclusions about strategy at this point in Strategic Planning: Beginning the Journey. We provide them for you here as a brief review. Read through them carefully before continuing with this chapter. 1. Strategy sets the course for public relations intent and initiatives. In char- acter it can be prescriptive, descriptive, or transformative; linear, adap- tive, or interpretive; deliberate or emergent. As intent it can be a plan, ploy, pattern, position, and/or perspective. 2. To be strategic is to be self-reflexive; acutely aware of short- and long-term organizational aspirations; contextually grounded and sensitive to inter- nal and external influences, including larger socio-political-economic factors, organizational culture, and employee perceptions; committed to keeping short- and long-term ROI visions; aware of organizational performance control and sometimes willing to use influential means to overcome it; and comfortable with flux and change. Decisions are not separated from outcomes, initiatives from resources and responses, alter- natives from consequences. 3. Strategic planning is the communication and business function that aligns organizational interests to the needs, wants, and perspectives of stakehold- ers and stakeseekers with the purpose of ethical and long-term organiza- tional sustainability. Remembering the many ways strategy can be approached and the many forms it can take is important. So, too, is your ability to practice the many important elements of an SRC public relations strategist way of thinking, behaving, and acting. And an understanding that strategic planning is a communication and business function to 200 | Strategic Planning...

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