Four tips for effective strategic planning

By Posted in - Public Relations & Strategic Planning on January 18th, 2012 0 Comments

As Shelley mentioned yesterday in her blog post, the “strategic planning” time of year passed for many organizations at the start of 2012. After months of researching, brainstorming and presentation-creating, it’s finally time to put ideas into action.

On that note, I have helped plan initiatives for not only clients, but also with my role with the South Carolina chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, where our 2012 planning is just now underway. And what I’ve learned from the process is that whether you’re creating a year-long action plan for a client or planning a short-term project, there are key points to keep in mind.

  • Have a solid team in place.┬áDon’t rely on the highest manager to be the only one contributing to the plan. Gather insight from everyone involved, especially those who help manage day-to-day ground level activities.
  • Find out what has changed since the last time you created a plan. Compare your current position to where your projects were a year, a quarter or a month ago. What goals did you meet? What didn’t work the way you expected?
  • Set goals and develop specific tactics to meet them. This is the true purpose of any strategic plan. Be sure to include general ideas about what you want to accomplish and specific action items to reach your goals.
  • Measure success. Make sure your all of your plan’s objectives – large or small – can be benchmarked for progress and success.
And after you have presented your fabulous plan to your organization, don’t just file it away. Revisit your ideas on a regular basis to see what you have left to accomplish and if adjustments should be made.┬áStrategic planning is a huge part of what we do as public relations practitioners – but shouldn’t be limited to just the fourth quarter of the year.
From this high-level view, what challenges do you face with strategic planning? Or what suggestions do you have for others involved in the process?

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