Step 2 to Planning Your 2013 PR and Marketing Strategy

Welcome to the second of four articles sharing with you the planning process I’ve developed to be simple, scalable and useful for virtually any situation. Let me know if you have any questions or other ideas, I would love to hear from you. Also, if you’d like further help, I am offering free one-hour consultations. Just fill out the contact form at the bottom of this post to get started. Previous posts in this series can be viewed here:
Step 1

Step 2 of Planning Your 2013 PR and Marketing Strategy

“If I had one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem and only five minutes finding the solution.” – Albert Einstein

I agree with Albert Einstein. I also think this quote applies equally to the defining of opportunities. Following Einstein’s advice will result in working smart, not necessarily working hard. And who doesn’t want that?

So, sorry to say it, but step 2 of planning your 2013 PR and Marketing Strategy is the dreaded SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis. But, if you completed step 1 and have your situation analysis at hand, with all relevant information organized into themes, then you’re half-way there already. After the SWOT analysis, you’re ready to develop goals and objectives.

SWOT Analysis

  1. Internal Strengths – The definition of internal will vary by circumstance, but generally speaking, I define it as anything that affects the inputs of your PR and marketing strategy. For example, budget, managers, work processes and equipment, and human resources. Strengths involves evaluating what resources you currently have available. Here list anything (use your situation analysis) that answers the question: What internal strengths do we have to build on? For example:
      1. Human resources include one full-time marketing manager and half-time assistant.
      2. Management is open to increasing budget for awareness campaign.
      3. Secured use of large format color printer.
      4. New survey software provides opportunities to obtain customer input.
  2. Internal Weaknesses – Now, using the definition of internal above, list anything (again, refer to your situation analysis) that could cause your PR and marketing strategy to be less than optimal. What internal weaknesses do we need to take into account? For example:
      1. Management does not want to allocate more human resources for awareness campaign.
      2. Staff do not see value in PR and marketing activities.
      3. Need more information about customer media habits.
  3. External Opportunities – External in this context refers to the audiences that you are communicating with and their circumstances. Using your situation analysis, list the opportunities can be identified in the external environment that will support your PR and marketing efforts? Some examples may include:
      1. Consumer reports indicate spending is up for X.
      2. New program/product being launched is receiving favorable media attention.
      3. Email newsletter is generating increased website traffic.
  4. External Threats – Using the definition of external above and your situation analysis, what issues may arise externally that could cause problems in 2013?
      1. Company Y is launching similar program/product in April.
      2. Customer complaints are being viewed on social media.
      3. Industry reports indicate a declining demand for Z.
      4. Lack of customer spending information.
  5. SWOT Action Plan – Now we take everything we learned above, and spend a few minutes outlining how the above points can be addressed to minimize or maximize their impact. Using the examples above, you might put the following:
      1. Make a case to management that some of the extra money for the awareness campaign should be used to hire extra help.
      2. Make sure to post positive media stories to website and write about in email newsletter.
      3. Find sources of reliable customer spending information.

Hopefully by this point, you have used most of the information you gathered and included in your situation analysis. If you haven’t, it probably wasn’t as relevant as you thought. The information in the SWOT analysis and action plan can now be incorporated into your goals, objectives and issues. This will be step 3 of planning your PR and marketing strategy. Stay tuned for the next installment in my planning series on Monday, January 21st.

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About Skye Rodgers

Freelance writer and public relations professional.
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