As I have learned over the past couple of weeks, strategy is such an important part of public relations practice. To put it simply strategy is a plan or preparation which enables an organisation to attain and accomplish a particular objective.Research is significantly notable in forming a strategic public relations plan and both the internal and external environments must be made aware of to know how to best construct the proposed meanings.The three core concepts which have an effect on public relations strategy are the ‘contested space, international representation and intended meaning’ (James, 2009).
For different organisations and causes, alternate strategies must be implemented in order to achieve their individual goals. For example, the strategic planning for a government election would be extremely dissimilar to the planning of a music festival such as Big Day Out. As the target audience varies, so do the ways that the message being sent out is interpreted. Things such as generational gaps and cultural differences can also have an effect on how a certain message is communicated and received. A difference of opinion is what makes the world turn but strategies should generally maintain ethical elements in order to suit a variety of groups and to generate a positive image.
When developing a strategic public relations plan, it is necessary to follow nine essential steps in order to be most successful. These are:
3. Goal setting
4. Setting objectives
5. Identifying publics or audiences
6. Developing strategies
7. Devising and implementing tactics
Earth Hour began in Sydney March 2007, in aim to increase awareness about global warming and its affects. Widespread print, television, radio and online media coverage encouraged participant involvement and action to be taken by people across all levels of society. The amount of media attention that Earth Hour gained was part of a strategy which was critical to the project’s success. The simplicity of the event was stressed in the fact that to participate in Earth Hour, all that was needed was for a household to switch off any unnecessary electricity for one hour. ‘Polling company AMR Interactive surveyed nearly 1000 Sydney residents, finding 57 per cent participated in Earth Hour by switching off lights, turning off computers , televisions and other household appliances’ (Earth Hour: Sydney sends message to the World on Global Warming, 2007). The enthusiasm and success of the first Earth Hour in 2007 has followed through and continued through to the present with major partners encouraging and facilitating the event globally.
Golden Target Awards. (2007). ‘Earth Hour: Sydney sends message to the World on Global Warming’ . Retrieved September 6, 2010, from http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/gta/?page=show&id=663
James, M. (2009). Strategies to Proactively Manage Activity. In J. Chia & G. Synnott, An Introduction to Public Relations: From Theory to Practice (pp. 248-270). South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.
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