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March 1, 2017
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May 1, 2017

Essential ways to approach a PR strategy

Generating caravan sales was an unexpected, ongoing theme in the March PR Strategy workshop in Manchester. But feature it did, and workshop leader Dennis Kelly FCIPR from Teesside University successfully used this real live example to guide us through the creation of a PR strategy, bringing the whole process to life.

We seven delegates ranged in experience from sole practitioner of B2B PR to corporate comms managers for NHS, banks and retail complexes.  Pooling our resources, we spent a very enjoyable day looking at why PR strategy is so important, via the trusty ‘plan-do-review’ model, right through to evaluating the PR process, which involved inputs, outputs, outcomes and outflows.

With humour and sound practical knowledge, Dennis looked at various ways to generate a PR strategy, including a Weihrichs 4 strategic options and De Bono’s ‘segment and challenge’ techniques.

As a hands-on PR practitioner, what I found particularly useful were his 15 top tips on getting time with busy managers to encourage them to focus on PR and strategy in particular. And here they are:

  1. Identify common objectives
  2. Be seen, be accessible, be visible
  3. Say … ‘we have problem [x] and this will solve it’
  4. Something which is new/leading edge
  5. Say “This is something which will work for us..”
  6. “Have you seen…” ie. topicality
  7. “I think I know how we can save some money…”
  8. Appeal to vanity..
  9. When you achieve something, have some celebration – share the credit
  10. Try the ‘reverse seminar’ technique. “… I know you’re really busy, but can you give me just half an hour to explain to me what’s happening in [your world]”
  11. Find advocates for PR in the organisation
  12. Demonstrate how something will work to get buy in
  13. Set up focus groups
  14. Gather insights from experts
  15. Just pop in!

At the end of the session, we left armed with some great notes, more PR contacts, and a headful of ideas to implement back at the office. Which is my definition of a successful workshop.

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