Step 3 to Creating Your 2013 PR and Marketing Strategy

Welcome to the third of four articles sharing with you the pr and marketing strategy planning process I’ve developed to be simple, scalable and useful for almost 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 are available here:
Introduction
Step 1
Step 2

Step 3 to Creating Your 2013 PR and Marketing Strategy

Once you have a SWOT analysis completed from step 2, you have everything you need to create strategic goals designed to accomplish the following:

  1. Take advantage of the external opportunities
  2. Minimize external threats
  3. Build on internal strengths
  4. Address internal weaknesses

Creating Goals and Objectives; Identifying Issues

  1. Define goals or desired outcomes – There is so much literature on how to develop goals. And what is a goal and what is an objective. To me, it’s simple. A goal describes the desired outcome. Look beyond the action to the effect. A goal is not “Complete awareness campaign,” it is “Favorable awareness increased among young adults in this city regarding this program/product.” In order to achieve a goal, you need to know what it looks like – describe your high level accomplishments and general intentions as specifically as possible. Use the information from your  SWOT analysis. Use your imagination. Prioritize and don’t overburden yourself. Allow time and resources to take advantage of spontaneous opportunities that always present themselves during the course of a year.
  2. Develop communication objectives that will support the overarching goals. Now it’s time to come back to earth and examine how you can achieve the lofty goals you have developed. This is where the “Complete awareness campaign” comes into play and where I subject my objectives to the SMART litmus test.
      • Specific (concrete, detailed, well-defined)
      • Measurable (numbers, quantity, comparison)
      • Achievable (feasible, actionable)
      • Realistic (considering resources)
      • Time-Bound (a defined time line)

Let’s take the goal example listed above: 

Favorable awareness increased (by x%) among young adults in this (defined target area) city regarding this (specific) program/product.

Your objective to achieve this goal may look like this:

Objective 1: Design and implement awareness campaign:

    1. Target young adults ages 13 – 17
    2. Target immediate geographic area
    3. Focus on the new program/product benefits and low-cost
    4. Increase baseline awareness by 20%
    5. Focus on media relations and other free marketing options to minimize costs
    6. Run campaign from April through June to reach young adults before summer vacation.

The last part of creating your objectives involves the defining issues that need resolution to realize goals. For example, following from above, an issue that may need addressing is the current level of program/product awareness among the target audience. It would be hard to say favorable awareness increased by 20% (or indeed increased at all) if you have no idea what the current level of favorable awareness is.

In this instance, you could not set a percentage goal. Run the campaign, and measure after through surveys when and how the young adult became aware of the program/product and how it affected their perceptions. Or, you could conduct baseline research prior to running the campaign. Conducting research prior to the campaign would be the best option as the information obtained can inform the campaign design, however, we don’t live in a perfect world and sometimes have to make do with what we can (this is where the realistic part of the SMART equation comes in). The most important thing is to make sure that an evaluation component is built into the objective.

Now that you have outcome oriented goals and specific, measurable objectives, it’s time for step 4 of creating your 2013 pr and marketing strategy – developing tactics and implementation plans. Check back next Monday for the final post in the series!

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About Skye Rodgers

Freelance writer and public relations professional.
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