Strategy first!

 Posted by: Nicole

‘Strategy, strategy, strategy!’ As PR professionals this is a term we are told to constantly keep at the forefront of our mind whenever we start to work on a new campaign. Of course as soon as we receive a new brief and a flurry of ideas spring to mind it can be so easy to get caught up in the small, finer details, rather than the bigger picture. 

So when I was offered the chance to attend a talk on ‘PR Strategy & Planning Campaigns’ at the CIPR Head office in London, I of course jumped at the chance!

As you can imagine the talk attracted a variety of PR professionals from across the UK, and included a rich variety of attendees, from agency to in-house PR teams. It was certainly a fantastic opportunity to learn about the different approaches others took depending on their company ethos.

Common industry terms like, ‘objectives,’, ‘strategy’ and ‘tactics’  were discussed in great detail by the course leader, Kerry Savage MCIPR, who gave valuable advice and techniques for how to keep coming back to focus on ‘strategy’ throughout working on a campaign.

As you would imagine having such a mix of individuals, all with such varied backgrounds and skillsets, certainly sparked some interesting discussions and debate; particularly during the afternoon when we all took part in some group exercises around planning a PR campaign, from receiving a brief right the way through to the evaluation stage.

The group work included a series of fascinating exercises of different levels of difficulty, from tasks as simple and straightforward as analysing examples of PR campaigns and identifying the different elements within it; distinguishing between objectives, strategy, tactics and evaluation to planning out entire campaigns in smaller groups.

One example of this was when we had to plan out a theoretical PR campaign from start to finish for a fictional and controversial new exhibition at the British Science Museum. After the planning stage we got to share our ideas with the whole group which meant that a wealth of ideas and knowledge was shared.

Not only was this an educational and fascinating PR day but it was also most enjoyable and I would certainly recommend this talk to any PR professional, whatever their level of experience.

One of the main thoughts I came away with at the end of the day was a new level of respect and understanding for Rawlingson Lane practices and processes and the reasons behind them, as well as the wealth of experience and knowledge within our team when it comes to creating PR strategies and planning and delivering campaigns. From individual colleagues to the RLP team as a whole, the day really highlighted to me that at Rawlingson Lane the dynamic and diverse mix of individuals all bring a ‘secret ingredient’ to the RLP recipe, when it comes to delivering an exceptional level of foodservice PR.