Strategic Public Relations

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Strategic PR insight

We really enjoy this part of the PR Coach site because, though it feels “random”, it’s loaded with strategic communications insight and ideas of interest to PR strategy pros.

Everything from strategic PR planning, corporate social responsibility and thoughtful research reports to issues management, communication audits, reputation management and social media.

All designed to help you move from tactical to strategic PR with a few inspirational and sometimes delightful twists thrown in just for interest.

There’s lots more in the PR Library as well including: Corporate Communications, Crisis Communications, Media Training and PR Measurement Tips & Best Practices and the PR Coach blog This Just In….   Sites with a  W are PR Coach “winners.” Note many links are PDF or PowerPoint documents so opening time may require patience.

PRoactive: The Public Relations Job Hunter’s Guide
Seriously looking for a PR job? Get PRoactive – the new book loaded with valuable strategies & practical tips on search tools, social networking, public relations resumes & portfolios, best PR jobs websites, much more.

3 Steps to Better Objectives
Dave Fleet shows how to set better, measurable objectives with several good examples.

7 Questions to a Social Media PR Strategy
Here’s how to get “social” with your PR strategy.

A Reputation Sniper Takes Aim at Chevron 
Chevron’s new campaign gets hijacked by online activists.  W

10 Tools to Increase the Impact of a PR Campaign
Here’s 10 great tools you can use to add extra impact to PR campaigns. From the folks at PR 20/20.

10 Top Public Relations Pratfalls of 2008
Remember these 10 stumblers? AIG, Detroit Big Three, Nike, Merck, Mark Penn, Absolut Vodka and more.

12 Steps to a Successful PR Campaign
Stephen Davies shares 12 steps in planning a successful public relations campaign.

100 Best Corporate Citizens 2009
CRO magazines chose its 2009 best corporate citizens and it’s a list worth reading.

Protect Your Privacy

2005 Internal Communications Plan
Here’s a plan template for internal communications that’s practical, tactical and adaptable.

2009 Communications Changes: 8 Tests
Ask yourself these eight questions to see if you’re strategically prepared for the future.

2011 World’s Most Ethical Companies
Ethisphere Institute ranks the world’s most ethical companies and provides a snapshot on each winner. Very interesting and some odd choices.

A Reputation Sniper Takes Aim at Chevron
Chevron’s new campaign gets hijacked by online activists.  W

A Template for a Communication Plan
Treasury Board of Canada provides an exceptional template for a communication plan.   W W

Align Corporate Communications to Achieve Business Goals
David Meerman Scott wrote this white paper for Dow Jones. He shows how to avoid the “strategy disconnect” using a six-step alignment process.

Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” for dummies
Knowing Alinsky’s 12 rules radicals follow can help you respond better if you become the target. W

Anatomy of a Public Relations Program
A look inside strategic PR planning.

Applying Strategic Management to Public Relations
Forbes Group article nicely ties together strategic planning and PR in a six-step process. W

Are Journalists and Influencers Two Separate Groups?
Insightful look at the differences between journalists and influencers.

Are We There Yet? A Communications Evaluation Guide
This guide was developed to guide evaluation of communications by any organization. Clear direction, helpful tips and useful templates. W

Astroturfing: A Question of Trust
Article in The Guardian looks at recent astroturfing by US health care and energy opposition groups. One has to ask, “Why astroturf?”

Authenticity Gives an Essential Lift to Your Elevator Pitch
Rethink your elevator pitch by throwing away canned inauthentic babble writes Lynn Espinoza.

BASCS Communications Plan Template
This Canadian govt communications plan template is complete and usable.

Best Practices – Mergers and Acquisitions
Still useful TGCP report provides step-by-step advice on M&A communication best practices. W

Building a Coalition
Alliances can be critical when you need a lot of influence. Managing that coalition takes all our skill and a firm hand.

Burson-Marsteller Identifies Next Generation of Influencers; Tech-Fluentials are the New Chief Opinion Leaders
2005 B-M study is still relevant as PR people work to identify the influencers in social media.

Calculating the ROI of Blogging
Thoughtful look at determining ROI on blogging from th
e Groundswell blog.

Cedar Rapids – Citywide Strategic Communications Plan
An excellent model for a strategic communications plan. Worth studying. W

Change Theory
Learn more about change theory, change management and more in this IPR paper.

Communication ROI: How Do Organizations Measure Communication Against Corporate Objective
See the top ten media measurement best practices and get tips on allying communications with corporate objectives.   W

Communications Management Plan Template
Basic communications template for project managers.

Communications Plan Template – Monash University
This template from Monash University is simple yet functional and adaptable to meet most communications planning needs.

Communications Planning
This is Dave Fleet’s excellent 13-part series on communications planning. It’s excellent and worth studying.   W

Communications Strategy Template
ESRC’s Communications Toolkit provides one of the better communications strategy templates we’ve seen. Very usable!   W

Conducting a Comprehensive Communications Audit
If you’re thinking of doing a communications audit, this SLA paper has an excellent six-step guide.

Corporate Communications Strategy – Stoke on Trent Primary Care Trust
This is a well-crafted corporate communications plan for a UK care service provider. An excellent model to follow.   W

Corporate Eye
The Corporate Eye blog provides insight and information on best practice in online corporate communications including IR.

Corporate Social Responsibility
This IPR essay by Robert Heath and Lan Ni looks at the what, why and how of CSR and an excellent set of implememtable strategies anc tactics.   W

Corporate Social Responsibility Initiative
CSRI works to enhance the effectiveness of CSR. Numerous reports and studies worth reading.    W

Corporate Social Responsibility: Three R’s
IPR study identifies three key components of effective corporate social responsibility.

Creating a PR Strategy
A step-by-step guide to help you prepare a winning public relations strategy.  W

Creating CEO Crib Sheets
Need to create CEO talking points? Here’s how.

CSR Website Benchmarking Results Announced
This review of three top Italian company CSR efforts is filled with insight from Corporate Eye.   W

Developing a Communications Strategy
Step-by-step guide to producing a comms strategy for your organisation. Includes exercises and downloads.

Developing a communications strategy for National Implementation Plans (NIPs) under the Stockholm Convention on POPs
High level UN guide to comms planning.

Developing a Public Relations Plan
Michael Turney provides a thorough blueprint for strategic PR planning. He highlights 10 strategic planning steps and five tactical steps in the process as well as other helpful links. Valuable reading.   W

Developing Messages that Work
Here’s a useful process Forrest Anderson follows to develop strategic messages.

Developing Networks: The Hierarchy of Needs
Rich Becker offers an excellent analysis of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and how they apply to communication.   W

Diversity and Public Relations Practice
Thoughtful IPR essay by Dr. Elizabeth Toth, looks at diversity, the business case for it and diversity models and best practices important for PR professionals. W

Echo Chamber
PR industry critic SourceWatch defines “echo chamber” tactics and shows ways it’s been used…been used….

Effective PR Strategy in a Nutshell
Here’s where to start your strategic PR plan.

Elements of a Strategic Communications Plan
Outline of a strategic communications plan with helpful worksheets.  W

Engaging Strategic: Fresh Content Project
Five terrific PR strategy posts worth reading.  W

Everybody Is Wrong
David Meerman Scott offers valuable thoughts on challenging conventional wisdom and offers several good examples of where everybody is wrong.

Fake News
PR industry watchdog SourceWatch criticizes pre-packaged “fake” news such as VNRs and ANRs used by business and government.

Five Steps for Developing a Change Communication Strategy
Here’s a quick 5-step process for communicating change from Melcrum.

Flipping The Scale: Influencers Are The Most Influenced
Great counterpoint view of influencers.

Future Scanning: How Far Can You Look
The secret is to look far enough that the details don’t bog you down for this critical strategic tactic.

Get a Bigger Bang for the Public Relations Buck
Learn how a communications audit can provide a PR blueprint for the future.

Goals vs Objectives
Often used interchangeably, here’s how to use them properly.

How Do You Do PR Without Looking Like You’re Selling?
Valeria Maltoni looks at the balancing of PR and selling and suggests how to find the best path.

How PR works: softly and subliminally
Shell looks to gain gas marketing advantage.

How Real Time Communications Drives Measurable ROI at Fortune 100 Companies
David Meerman Scott looks at companies that do, and do not, respond in “real time.”  W

How to Build an Influencer Marketing Strategy
Smart strategic PR can reach influencers.

How to Choose an Issue
Do you know how to choose the right issue to align your organization? Forrest Anderson shows how.

How to Create Measurable Objectives
One of the best, quick explanations of goals, objectives, strategies and tactics you’ll read from Amber Naslund.  W

How to Develop a Communications Plan
Learn how to develop a comm plan and utilize the four excellent examples included.  W

How to Develop a Communications Plan – School System
Here’s an anonymous school communication plan, heavy on the practical and the tactical.

How to Do a SWOT Analysis
Don’t know SWOT? Here’s a  useful template.  W

How to edit Wikipedia pages – a guide for PR execs
Listen up: Practical PR 2.0 advice.

How to Influence the Influencers
For successful word-of-mouth results, you need the critical 10% – the influencers. Here’s how.

How to Write a Corporate Communications Plan
Nancy Scott Rathbun’s basic PR plan suggestions will get you planning in the right direction.

How to Write a Mission Statement
The mission here is to show you how to write a mission statement.

Institute for Public Relations
IPR is a vary valuable resource for strategic PR pros, especially the searchable topics.  W

Irrational Trust
Interesting IPR article by Drad Brad Rawlins on trust development and irrational trust.

Issues Management
Dr Elizabeth Dougall’s IPR essay reviews definitions, trends and best practices in issues management and provides insight in models of issues management and the critical role of media and activists.  W

Issues Management: The Crystal Ball
Issues management is all about forecasting writes Craig Miyamoto and that’s your key asset as a PR strategist.

It’s NOT a PR Problem. Think Real Values, Mission and Culture Reputation
Tom Gable writes a thoughtful essay on how companies have not had a PR problem but rather have gone against their real values that made them successful in the first place.

IUFRO Draft Communications Plan
Here’s a sample plan from an international organization worth a look.

Jeffco Public Schools 2012-2013 Communications Plan
This communications plan is an excellent template to consider; brief, specific and focused.   W

Jeremiah Owyang’s Roadmap for the Corporate Website
Valuable look at what must be on your corporate website.

Key Stakeholders
Reputation Institute has a tool that highlights goals and features of some key stakeholder groups.

Lack of Measurement Holding PR Back
PR must speak executive language.

Legacy of the BP Spill: What’s a Reputation Worth?
The BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused a public outcry and savaged BP’s share price. Image repair won’t be easy.

Lessons Learned in Promoting CSR
CRO
surveys some of the most respected leaders in the field to see how they promote CSR achievements.

List of Corporate Social Strategist 2012 (Buyer/Brand Side, 1000+ Employees)
Jeremy Owyang shares a list of top social strategists.

Mad Cow PR Campaigns [US]
Interesting critical point of view on industry response to the BSE crisis from SourceWatch.

Management as Target Audience: Triangular Communications
PR has a key role with management and target audiences in planning and carrying out a communications audit.

Marketing Communications Plan Template
Colorful, comms template can help generate an impressive plan.

Measure to Drive Business Outcomes
Excellent presentation by Andrew Lark looks at the importance of measurement of PR.

Measuring Communication, Defining Outcomes
Rich Becker continues his excellent series of posts on strategic PR and measurement at Copywrite, Ink.   W

Measuring Trust and Mistrust
Trust, or lack of trust, can carry financial consequences. KD Paine shows how to measure trust.

Media Myths and Realities Study
Significant study by Ketchum/USC Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center highlights important shifts in media channels including increased fragmentation, blurred lines between media channels and significant growth in social media.  W

Media Relations Does Generate Coverage
Here’s a thoughtful look by Michael Turney at the impact of media relations and working with the media.

Merger Aftershocks: Surviving the People Challenges in a Post-Merger Integration
This initial Deloitte report is a useful high-level strategic guide to the people challenges in a merger.

Message Mapping, Risk and Crisis Communication
This paper provides a detailed approach to strategic message development. Worth reading! W

Negative PR in Advertising Travels Fast
Learn how to avoid some famous marketing mishaps in social media.

New Communication Theory and the New Rules for the New World of Marketing
Is it social media or is it conversation? Whatever it is, it’s a communication revolution worth studying for its future impact writes Brian Solis.

New Corporate Communication Thinking
2008 Burson-Marsteller presentation says companies should stop talking to target groups and start creating dialogues with stakeholders. Also see 10 ways to sell social media to your CEO. W

NHS 24 Internal Communications Strategy 2004-05
Here’s a useful planning model to consider and adapt.

NLREDA/REDB  Communications Planning Guide
This is an excellent template for a communications plan. W

Nine Issue Management Best Practice Indicators
This is a good benchmark to see if your organization measures up to these Issue Management Council best practices.

PR GAP Study – Strategic Public Relations Center
USC Annenberg’s 5th Annual Generally Accepted Practices (GAP) study is becoming a respected PR industry benchmarking tool. This Executive Summary has highlights.   W

PR Management Data Source – USC Annenberg
PRMD is a valuable database maintained by the Strategic Communication and Public Relations Center at USC. Aimed at providing data of use to senior PR decision-makers.   W

PR Policymaker Chart of Responsibilities
Strategic public relations thinking from Deidre Breakenridge.

PR Practice #5: Pre-Crisis Doctor Chart of Responsibilities 
Useful strategic thinking from Deirdre Breakenridge. W

PR stunt or the new journalism?: The titans of public relations are going direct to viewers and readers
PR is venturing into new disciplines as it matures.

Pandemic Response Plan
eBRP Solutions offers this pandemic response plan. It’s good reading, has a communication component and will get you thinking about “what ifs?”

Perspectives on the ROI of Media Relations Publicity Efforts
IPR paper looks at current PR ROI measurement best practices.   W

Preparing Your Strategy for a PR Campaign
This slide presentation will guide you to asking the seven most important questions in developing a PR strategy.

Prioritizing Stakeholders for Public Relations
Learn how to priorize stakeholders in a valuable four-step process from Brad Rawlins in this Gold Standard IPR paper.   W

Project Communications Plan Template
A simple, handy, one-page communications planning template for projects.

Project Decelerators – Lack of Support
Project management tips include stakeholder identification, relationships, analysis and a simple communications template.

Project Management Communications Plan
Communications plan tips and templates from University of Saskatchewan.

Propaganda Techniques
PR industry critic SourceWatch provides an extensive list and links to propaganda techniques with good examples. You’ll definitely learn lots here!.   W

Public Affairs Tactics, Techniques and Procedures
Have a look at the Army’s Field Manual for public affairs. Comprehensive, with useful sample docs.

Public Relations: Shades of Grey Get Results
The PR Coach looks at PR’s unique ability to work with nuance for results.

Public Relations Strategy is…
Paul Roberts says PR strategy is… overrated. He’s kidding and he shares how best to approach it.  W

Public Relations Toolkit
The American Society for Public Administration has a PR toolkit with tips.

Quick and Dirty Planning May Suffice
Michael Turney reminds us that sometimes quick and dirty planning is all that’s needed.

Reputation Management in Social Media
Helpful perspective on the need for social media monitoring from Techrigy.

Reputation Management Should Be Proactive, Not Reactive
Sound PR advice regarding reputation management.

Reputation Risk Management Is On the Rise in US and European Corporations
New Conference Board report says companies are investing heavily to manage reputations. Some excellent findings worth review.

Reputation Systems
Study by Resnick et al shows how the internet serves as a type of reputation system.

Research shows just 6% of companies value listening online
I’m speechless. Is this fear of ROI or stupidity?

Restoring Trust in Business: Models for Action
AW Page Society suggests several interesting models for restoring trust in business. The trust “scorecard” is valuable. W

Return on Integrity Is the New Bottom Line for Marketers
Consumers have high expectations which must ne met with transparency and integrity.  W

Revealing the Sources of Google News
A really thoughtful look at Google News, online news sources and journalism by SEO-PR expert Greg Jarboe.   W

Sainsbury’s Values, CR Reports & the Corporate Website
A look inside corporate social responsibility at a UK icon.

Sample Public Relations Plan Outline
This at-a-glance checklist outlines key elements to any strategic public relations plan.

Selecting Online Influencers? Here’s 10 Things to Consider
Useful insight into choosing online influencers.

Selling the Communication Budget and Function at DTCC
Stuart Goldstein shares strategies on using budgets, plans and reports to demonstrate PR value.

Setting Meaningful PR objectives: Authority Interviewed
Craig Pearce talks to expert Angela Sinickas about effective PR measurement.  W

Setting PR Budgets
Ten things that will get you more for your PR buck and five things to avoid.

Sharing Content: How Releases Impact Perception
Rich Becker has an interesting analysis of a biased news release and how it was shared, not questioned and treated as fact the farther it traveled on the web.   W

Shorter CEO Tenure Requires Even More Strategic Communications Counsel
Jim Lukaszewski offers a CEO reality check and suggests how PR people must strengthen their strategic capabilities.

Simplified Planning for Complex Times
Case study from the Architectural Woodwork Institute shows the value of strategic planning using “preferred future development.”

Six Big Goal Secrets
Goal-setting helps you get results writes Robert Middleton.

State of the News Print Media in Australia 2008
Have a look at how this report used news content analysis to generate strategic insight.

Strategic Communications Audits
Excellent working paper provides a five-step framework for learning about communications audits or for those who want a blueprint to carry out a communications self-assessment.  W W

Strategic Communications Plan Generator
A SPIN Project planning tool helps you develop a strategic comms plan.  WW

Strategic Communications Plan Template
The Rasmuson Foundation provides a simple comm plan template worth a look. WW

Strategic Communications Plan Template
This template is detailed with instructions to help you build a strategic communications plan.   W W

Strategic Communications Planning
Dave Fleet wrote an excellent e-book on strategic comms planning. Available free and a must-read. Thanks Dave!  W

Strategic Plan – American Water Works Association
The AWWA’s strategic plan is a very good template to consider. Focused, functional and effective.

Strategic Planning for Public Relations
Michael Turney offers a simple, effective PR planning grid.

Strategic Public Relations
SPR is Kevin Dugan’s blog.

Strategic Public Relations Podcast
A 20-min podcast on strategic public relations planning with Kyle Krull and Jennifer Campbell.

Strategic SWOT Analysis
Here’s how to analyze strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and develop a SWOT matrix to help you in your PR planning.

Strategy vs Tactics
There’s often confusion between strategy and tactics. Here’s how to use them properly. Impress your boss!

Survey Reveals Media Channel Lines Continue to Blur
A 2009 Ketchum/USC Annenberg Strategic Public Relations Center study highlights important shifts in media channels including increased fragmentation, blurred lines between media channels and significant growth in social media.  W

Swine Flu and Corporate Response
Corporate Eye looks at how several leading companies have set the bar high with their online response to swine flu.

SWOT Analysis: How to Perform One for Your Organization
Well done video explanation of how to do a SWOT analysis.

Tactical Planning for Public Relations
A clear explanation of tactical vs strategic PR planning from Michael Turney.

Taking the Fizz Out of Soda Contracts: A Guide to Community Action
This guide, produced by Leaders Encouraging Activity & Nutrition (LEAN), is one of the best strategic plans for social action we’ve ever seen. Media relations, issues monitoring, tools like soundbites and presentation tips and tactics are all included.   W W

Tech-Savvy Communications – A Toolkit for Nonprofits
This practical communications planning handbook was developed by NPower Seattle. It’s a valuable template for anyone developing a communications plan.   W W

Ten Common Reasons Strategic Plans Fail
Leo Bottary offers valuable advice on keeping strategic plans on track.  W

Testing PR Messages
Do you test your key messages? Learn why and how from Forrest Anderson.

The 5 best brands on social media – according to corporate social media practitioners
Peer recognition of best social brand strategists.

The 18 Immutable Laws of Corporate Reputation
Book review lays out Ron Alsop’s roadmap for creating, protecting and restoring reputation.

The Authentic Enterprise: An Arthur W Page Society Report
What’s an “authentic enterprise”? How do you create and foster one? What is PR’s role in helping the CEO maintain it? This AW Page report is worth reading!   W

The Case FOR Corporate Responsibility
Corporations do as corporations can.

The Challenge – And Risk – of Ad Agencies’ Growing Interest In Social Media
Dave Fleet explores the competition for ownership of the social media space.  W

The Difference Between Strategy and Tactics
What’s the dif? Seth Godin nails it.

The Future of Public Relations: Seizing the Opportunity
What’s the future of public relations? Strategic consulting and shaping views.

The Gulf of Perception
Exceptional overview of media, crises, strategic thinking in the BP oil spill.  W W

The Hybrid Theory Manifesto: The Future of Marketing, Advertising, and Communications Part III
Brian Solis explores the hybrid future of marketing and communications.

The One-Paragraph Startup Plan
Superb idea starter for strategic PR and business plans.  W

The PR 2.0 Culture Challenge
Dierdre Breakenridge looks at the challenge of getting employees and brand ambassadors on board before launching social media programs. Her 8-step change management process is valuable.   W

The Power of Public Relations in Schools
Though aimed at schools, this is a useful framework for strategic PR planning and community relations.

The Problem with Influence
Smart thinking about influencers from Danny Brown.

The Reputing Process
Reputation Institute’s five-phase Reputing Process is a model worth reviewing.

The Seven Basics of Multimedia Storytelling
Excellent strategic PR advice.

The Strategic Communication Imperative
Excellent AW Page Society paper looks at best practices, drivers and lessons of strategic communications.   W

The Value of Reputation
Valeria Maltoni explores the real value of reputation and how it can impact a brand or company.   W

The Wrong Objective
On Black Fridays and other PR goals that must deliver results.

Three Stages of Merger Communications
Pre-deal planning, deal announcement and post-integration all require superb strategy and timely communications. Norman Birnbach’s tips on this challenge are excellent.  W

Three Steps to Make Your CEO Look More Personable with Social Media
Unrealistic? I think so. Your thoughts?

Thumbs Down on Corporate Green Efforts
Consumers skeptical, pragmatic.

Tools for Not-for-Profit Leaders: The Strategic Plan
Paulette Vinette lays out the importance of a strategic plan.

Triangular Communications: The Who, Why and How
Williams/Dozier study proposes that management be a key audience in any communications audit. Results show positive outcomes.

Tying CSR With Reputation Management
Basing CSR plans on reputation management is a powerful combination.

Understanding Change: John Kotter’s Change Model – An Overview
Kotter’s Change Model is an eight-step process for organizational change worth knowing for communicators and strategists.

Using Push-Pull Strategy in Public Relations
“Push” and “pull” are usually considered marketing strategies but “push-pull” can be an effective PR strategy as well.

Using SWOT as a Public Relations Planning Tool
Here’s ten ways to use SWOT analysis in your PR planning and five things to avoid.

Using the Right Terms
Here’s how to talk to senior management about corporate responsibility.

Values-Image Continuum
Thoughtful look by Craig Miyamoto at how an image can be formed with a little information but how much stronger it is when built on a solid foundation.  W

Want To Avoid Strategic Plan Failures? Combine Thinking, Planning, Doing
Getting strategic about strategic planning by Leo Bottary.

What is a Social Media Influencer?
Here is a look at social media influencers.

What USC Annenberg GAP Study Tells Us About Public Relations’ Success
Strategic PR insight.

When Every Company Is Now a Media Company, PR Should Lead
PR can and should lead online media strategies.

Which Tool is Best at Finding Social Media Influencers?
Useful analysis of the nine leading analytical tools.

When Your CEO Isn’t New York Times Worthy
On losing clients with big egos.

Who’s Afraid of New Media?
Seems the only people afraid are old media reporters in this thoughtful article from The American Prospect.

Why Basic Reputation Management Isn’t Enough
In the social media era, new proactive approaches are critical to managing reputation. Here’s how.

Why Influence Mining is the Next Gold Rush
Jay Baer looks at the future of public relations and sees “influence mining.”  W

Why Reputation Management Matters for Small Businesses
One negative review or blog post can impact hugely. Some great tips on how to monitor effectively, big and small.  W

Why You Should Delete the Mission Statement on Your Website
Pause for PR thought. Your mission better be good or begone.

Writing Communications Plans
Here’s a set of thorough tips from the Federal Communicators Network to help you write an effective communications plan and a crisis communications plan.  W

Photo credit: Sprengben

This strategic communications resource is curated by Jeff Domansky. Follow him on Twitter @ThePRCoach or his Scoop.it curation site Public Relations & Social Media Insight.