Strategic Planning for Public Relations / Edition 3

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This innovative and popular text provides a clear pathway to understanding public relations campaigns and other types of strategic communication. Implementing the pragmatic, in-depth approach of the previous editions, author Ronald D. Smith presents a step-by-step unfolding of the strategic campaign process used in public relations practice. Drawing from his experience in professional practice and in the classroom, Smith walks readers through the critical steps for the formative research, strategic and tactical planning, and plan evaluation phases of the process.

Offering clear explanations, relevant examples, and practical exercises, this text identifies and discusses the decision points and options in the development of a communication program. The cases and examples included here explore classic public relations situations as well as current, timely events. This third edition includes expanded discussions of ethics, diversity, and technology integrated throughout the text, and has a new appendix addressing media training for clients.

As a classroom text or a resource for professional practice, this volume provides a model that can be adapted to fit specific circumstances and used to improve effectiveness and creativity in communication planning. It serves as an accessible and understandable guide to field-tested procedures, offering practical insights that apply to public relations campaigns and case studies coursework.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415994224
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 3/30/2009
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Ronald D. Smith APR is a professor of public communication at Buffalo State College, the largest college within the State University of New York, where he teaches public relations planning, writing, and related topics to undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to his work as an educator, he spent 10 years as a public relations director and eight years as a newspaper reporter and editor. He is active as a consultant in public relations and strategic communication, assisting businesses and nonprofit organizations with planning, research, communication management and media training.

In addition to Strategic Planning for Public Relations, Smith also is the author of Becoming a Public Relations Writer (3rd edition 2008, Routledge) and co-author of MediaWriting (2nd edition 2009, Routledge) with W. Richard Whitaker and Janet E. Ramsey.

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Table of Contents


  • Relationship Management
  • Strategic Communication
  • Integrated Communication
  • Advertising
  • Strategic Public Relations
  • Effective Creativity

Phase One: Formative Research

Step 1: Analyzing the Situation

  • Public Relations and Ethics
  • Planning Example 1: Analyzing the Situation
  • Checklist 1: Public Relations Situation

Step 2: Analyzing the Organization

  • Internal Environment
  • Public Perception
  • External Environment
  • Planning Example 2: Analyzing the Organization
  • Checklist 2A: Internal Environment
  • Checklist 2B: Public Perception
  • Checklist 2C: External Environment

Step 3: Analyzing the Publics

  • Publics
  • Key Publics
  • Strategic Planning Example 3A: Identifying Publics
  • Checklist 3A: Publics
  • Analyzing Key Publics
  • Stereotypes
  • Rethinking Your Publics
  • Benefit Statement
  • Planning Example 3B: Analyzing Key Publics
  • Checklist 3B: Key Publics

Phase Two: Strategy

Step 4: Establishing Goals and Objectives

  • Organizational Goals
  • Objectives
  • Planning Example 4: Establishing Goals and Objectives
  • Checklist 4: Goals and Objectives

Step 5: Formulating Action and Response Strategies

  • Proactive Public Relations Strategies
  • Reactive Public Relations Strategies
  • Planning Example 5: Formulating Action and Response Strategies
  • Checklist 5: Action and Response Strategies

Step 6: Designing Effective Communication

  • Communication Process
  • Rhetorical Tradition
  • Planning Example 6A: Selecting Message Sources
  • Checklist 6A: Message Sources
  • Logos: Appealing to Reason
  • Pathos: Appealing to Sentiment
  • Planning Example 6B: Determining Message Appeals
  • Planning Checklist 6B: Message Appeals
  • Verbal Communication
  • Nonverbal Communication
  • Planning Example 6C: Planning Verbal/Nonverbal Communication
  • Checklist 6C: Planning Verbal/Nonverbal Communication
  • Branding the Strategic Message

Phase Three: Tactics

Step 7: Selecting Communication Tactics

  • Interpersonal Communication Techniques
  • Planning Example 7A: Selecting Interpersonal Communication Tactics
  • Checklist 7A: Interpersonal Communication Tactics
  • Organizational Media Tactics
  • Planning Example 7B: Selecting Organizational Media Tactics
  • Checklist 7B: Organizational Media Tactics
  • News Media Tactics
  • Planning Example 7C: Selecting News Media Tactics
  • Checklist 7C: News Media Tactics
  • Advertising and Promotional Media Tactics
  • Planning Example 7D: Selecting Advertising and Promotional Tactics
  • Checklist 7D: Advertising and Promotional Tactics
  • Packaging Communication Tactics
  • Planning Example 7E: Packaging the Communication Tactics
  • Checklist 7E: Packaging Communication Tactics

Step 8: Implementing the Strategic Plan

  • Campaign Plan
  • Campaign Schedule
  • Campaign Budget
  • Planning Example 8: Implementing the Strategic Plan
  • Checklist 8: Implementing the Strategic Plan

Phase Four: Evaluation Research

Step 9: Evaluating the Strategic Plan

  • What to Evaluate
  • When to Evaluate
  • How to Evaluate
  • Data Analysis and Reports
  • Planning Examples 9: Evaluating the Strategic Plan
  • Checklist 9: Evaluating the Strategic Plan

Appendix A: Applied Research Techniques

Appendix B: Ethical Standards

Appendix C: Sample Campaigns

Appendix D: Effective Media Engagement


Citations and Recommended Readings

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