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PR tactic - how to write a set of objectives for a PR plan

How to write a set of objectives for a PR plan

What is it?

You are putting together a PR Plan and you want to outline what you are trying to achieve. It is the answer to the classic question “What does success look like?”

Why do you do it?

Success is an accident unless it is planned. No piece of public relations activity should be worked on unless it is part of a plan.

How do you do it?

The first step is to always write down your objectives.

Too many people think it’s ok to have them in your head. It’s not. That leads to ambiguity and confusion. The only way to bring people with you is to have clearly stated objects written down.

To start the first question you ask is..

  • ‘What are you trying to achieve with the public relations activity?” Media attention in and of itself isn’t enough - it’s just vanity. Maybe you are trying to get more people to subscribe, attend an event, or buy a product. It’s essential that you know. You need to know what the dial looks like and how far you want to move the needle. Really effective public relations solves the problems that keep the senior people awake at night.

Use the correct language.

  • Every PR plan should start with the following language. “We want to use public relations and communications to achieve the following objectives.” This will help you to snap into the right mindset for your plan.

Your PR objectives should be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely).

Let’s look at an example:

  • We want to use PR and communication to raise the awareness of the brand in the west of Ireland  - Weak.


  • We want to use PR and communication to raise sales of the product by 20% in the five connacht countries in the first 2 quarters of the year - Strong.

A strong objective will change how you act. It should be something that you have to stretch yourself to achieve. If it’s not specific and measurable, then it’s generally a waste of time. An objective is like asking someone to go to the shop now and buy you a pint of milk. There is no doubt about what you are asking them to do. An objective should be that clear. Your objectives should be ambitious and a specific call to action. You should look at them and say - if we achieve these we would be very happy.

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