Rick Teitloff, Intern, Shank Public Relations Counselors
Since this is my last week as the intern here at Shank Public Relations Counselors, this is my last visit to the principals’ office. While all of my Q & A sessions with David and Marilyn have been interesting and informative, this one was especially so. The interview took such a new direction I’ve decided to ditch the Q & A format for this edition and write a regular blog.
This week I asked David and Marilyn about goals, strategies and tactics. The conversation took off and didn’t stop for a while. There was so much information pouring out of them that I’m going to try and summarize it for you to help you better understand the strategic and creative process in public relations.
In the creative process, you begin with a goal and go through steps to achieve that goal. In the end, it all circles back to the goal, which led to me dubbing the process the “public relations circle of life.” To help illustrate the public relations circle of life, I’m going to use an imaginary company called Simba’s Grubs.
A goal is the big picture of what you’re trying to accomplish. Simba’s Grubs’ goal is to become the number one supplier of delicious grubs in the Pride Rock Kingdom and the surrounding region.
A strategy is the broad overview of what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to go about it. Simba’s Grubs’ strategy is to use social media to achieve their goal.
Objectives are measurable results that are quantifiable by metrics and time. Simba’s Grubs’ objectives in the next six months are to:
1. increase likes, followers and friends by 50 percent.
2. build two new grub hatcheries to meet demand.
3. hire two friends to help harvest grubs (who could he hire?!).
Tactics are “the fun stuff” or the tools you use to achieve your goal, according to David. Simba’s Grubs’ tactics are to:
1. offer exclusive coupons for likes, followers and friends.
2. create a new app where users have to catch as many grubs as possible to make people want more grubs.
3. create key market ads to drive an increase in likes, followers and friends.
Evaluation is the final step in the process. Evaluation is measuring the results of your process and comparing it to your goal to see if accomplished your goal. It is best to be as specific as possible with your evaluation. A useful tool in this might be polling consumers before and after the process to compare perceptions, attitudes and results. Some things Simba’s Grubs’ could do are:
1. track the use of the coupons used.
2. survey followers and friends to gauge any shift in attitude.
3. interview those who viewed the ad created for the campaign.
4. Determine how close are we to being the number one supplier of grubs?
Understanding this process is essential to a successful public relation campaign. When I asked David what the biggest mistake people make in this process is, he said, “People often confuse tactics with strategy. Tactics are the fun stuff! But the strategy is the roadmap that defines the tactics.”
With that, I leave the principals’ office for the last time. No worries though, on my way out I saw a guy named Alex waiting in the office to see the principals…
Rick Teitloff is our summer 2013 intern. Rick is a senior at Ball State University and will be graduating with a bachelor’s degree in public relations in December.