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Very often in society we hear the terms goal and objective used synonmonusly. .However, PR practitioners have shown to be much wiser! In the world of PR and Communications — they are two totally. different. beasts! <pause for dramatic effect>
So, what’s the difference?
The goal is a broad sentence that restates the problem as a solution, takes advantage of an opportunity or meets a challenge. Some describe it as a statement of being for your public relations plan. Usually one goal is enough. Don’t over do it.
The objectives, on the other hand, follow the goal. They suggest the milestones and outcomes that are necessary to reach said goal.
Now, let’s examine the two a little more closely.
Objectives may be the slightly more difficult concept of the two, so let’s start there as it requires the practitioner to identify a SMART approach. In order for an objective to be SMART it must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. In the text, Strategic Communications Planning by Laurie Wilson and Joseph Ogden the authors offer great tips to assist in this process. These tips include: seeking input from management, thinking in shorter time frames, soliciting second opinions, maintaining an open mind to discover new audiences and lastly, it reminds us that if it can’t be measured, it’s not an objective.
Now, back to goals. As mentioned, these are broader ideas. They are a positive restatement of the problem. So in order to determine the goal, a practitioner must first identity the most urgent or important communications issue of the organization.., person… or even product. (Let’s just say the thing you’re trying to promote). In the past, even I have found this to be challenging because I tend to jump ahead and the next thing I know, I find myself scripting hundreds of communications tactics. However, this is only a means to the end. The goal needs to be established first in order to best discover which plays should be ran in the court of public opinion. Scoring, here, could result in a win or lose for the organization.
Here’s an example. Your client is the American Red Cross and their core issue is that there has been an alarming reduction of blood donors over the past 6 months. Well, this is clearly an issue. So your goal could be: To encourage more Americans to become donors in the United States. Now you need at least 3-5 SMART objectives. Let’s say: To solicit 5,000 blood donors from New York, Washington, DC and Atlanta over the next 90 days.
Can you think of another objective?
Readings from Strategic Communications Planing For Effective Public Relations and Marketing (2010) (5th ed.) Wilson, L. & Ogden, J.
Communications proposals can make or break signing on a new client. Once you receive a RFP (request for proposal) it’s important that as practitioners we are doing our research thoroughly. So, steer clear and read on to avoid major potholes in your plan.
In the Communications and Research readings, I rediscovered various types of ways to obtain information as well as the 6 research methods. With that in mind, when searching for information it is important that researchers approach some sources with skepticism. Naturally, depending on how the information is gathered there are greater chances that the information could be skewed due to various agendas and biases. As mentioned in the text, external organizations such as various activist groups have an agenda. Therefore, paying close attention to the methodologies and sources is highly encouraged by the author. As a PR practitioner, this is critical information to share with your client and their publics in order to 1. behave ethically and adhere to the PRSA Code/personal code, 2. maintain transparency/honesty between you and your client and/or the client and its publics, and 3. avoid a potential crisis which could result in lost of money and/or damage the brand.
I would also approach focus groups with a similar degree of weariness. Though it is a primary research method and the researcher is receiving the information first hand, there are other factors that may affect the outcomes. One, which I feel is most pressing is group think. In this situation, participants may become swayed during the discussion and forfeit their own opinions or ideas about the product or brand in question. Though it also has its pros …it eliminates anonymity, which in more times than not, may be more conducive to the study. In dissecting the reading, I would say that certain types of focus groups would also be dangerous and the PR practitioner should be aware of this when consulting with a client or creating a proposal around these type of results since it does not reflect public opinion.
WASHINGTON (Aug. 28, 2013)-The Young Urban Professionals (YUPies) hosts their “One Year and Counting…” reception for the District’s rising industry leaders. This anniversary marks the success of the organization’s growing community of empowered men and women as well as supports local at-risk kids. This celebration will take place onThursday, September 26, 2013 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Ulah Bistro located at 1214 U St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20009.
This semi-private fundraiser will celebrate 365 days of networking that will include a complementary dessert table provided by Aurora’s Cupcakery, live entertainment, signature cocktails and exclusive giveaways from the Fab Body Factory, House Studio and Divas MPH. In addition to the commemoration, YUPies will donate a portion of its proceeds to Horton’s Kids, an organization that works to provide direct services to improve the daily lives of children in Washington, D.C.’s Ward 8.
Tickets can be purchased online at http://oneyearandcounting.eventbrite.com/.
If you would like to be a sponsor for this event, please contact Jenna at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are a member of the media and would like to cover this event, please contact LaWanda at email@example.com.
About Young Urban Professionals
Young, Urban Professionals (YUPies) is a community of young professionals that represent ambition, diversity and innovation. They provide members with opportunities to expand their business and professional networks, accelerate their careers, and engage in community involvement. As advocates for opportunity, they also influence constituents, regardless of their industries through engagement, resources, innovation, professionalism and activism.
In Chronicles of an Ardent PR Girl part one, I discussed and debunked a series of personal PR misconceptions I shamefully held to believe to be ambiguously true before joining the phenomenal IPR. As I reflect back, I honestly could not tell you where and how my impressionable myths formed: perhaps MTV’s short-lived public relations series, PoweR Girls, maybe the first three seasons of The Hills? I guess, the world may never know.
Last week, I met up for brunch with La “The Power Publicist,” and my fellow intern, Jo, in which we shared numerous stories and experiences since working at IPR. These anecdotes include obstacles women in PR face compared to our male counterparts and cringe-worthy current events. As the tables turned, La gave us the opportunity to express any concerns and questions in terms of our most enjoyable aspects to the least favorable tasks of the internship. Through insightful open discussion, Jo and I concluded that because we endure exasperating attributes of perfectionism, we allow our negative self-talk to deter our unprecedented potential. After brunch, I could not stop myself from wondering whether PR is for me.
PR is easy
Is PR easy? As an intern, not necessarily— what I benefit the most from this internship are amazing professional development and personal growth, in a way no job has ever motivated me. Each assigned task has impressively forced me out of my comfort zone and challenged my social anxieties; sometimes leaving me in awkward situations, but who cares! Have you ever attended an event alone and not know any of the attendees?, or finally mastering methods to avoid getting pitchslapped? From trial and error to actual vs. potential reality, nothing worthwhile ever comes easily.
To be continued…
Occasionally, I’ll run into former colleagues and acquaintances—one of the most inevitable catch-up questions I get is, “So, what have you been up to?” With an enlightened smile, I’ll reply, “I’m a Public Relations Coordinator.” Filled with enthusiasm, our winsome conversations would include boundless admirations of the profession, ranging from popular no-nonsensical Public Relations (PR) bloggers to scandalous non-fiction PR characters, no pun intended!
After insightful discourses, I’ve noticed rational PR misconceptions, naïve fallacies I even made before working at IndependentlyPR (IPR). Similar to any commercial industry, the lucrative perks tend to overshadow the valor, determination, and journey it takes to achieve incredible tangible results. As I look back, I’m content with my impulsive decision in quitting my full-time job for a yearning pursuit in PR. Hopefully; I too, can humbly chant “Started from the Bottom!”
Before I begin, what exactly is PR? With timeless elaborated definitions, some definitions are better than others, Seitel (2007) defines PR as a “distinctive management function which helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communications, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation between an organization and its publics…” (p.4). With that straightforward definition, did your innate PR perspective slightly change? If so, you’re not alone.
PR ≠ Press Releases
As a PR junior, one of my many duties entails crafting concise newsworthy press releases that represents an organization’s intended agenda. From pitching to media personnel for the purpose of attracting media requests to actually gaining media coverage; this is just ¼ of PR, if only I knew what I know now! Press releases can serve as a beneficial tool to reach out to the media but ultimately isn’t a PR strategy. With the emergence and prevalence of social media, a platform I once avoided, I find these digital tools critical to maximize an organization’s mission and presence. Food for thought: Not all press releases get used.
To be continued…
(Seitel, F. (2007). The Practice of Public Relations.New Jersey: Pearson Education