Strategic planning is at the heart of all public relations. Launching a PR campaign without a strategic plan is like embarking on a trip without a map or GPS. In today’s business environment, with limited resources and ramped up accountability, it’s not enough to head off in a general, vague direction. A GPS-like a strategic plan requires you to input your destination. It keeps you on track.

The ability to think and act strategically is the key that enables professionals to advance from tactical PR practitioners to sought-after strategic planners. Today, effective communicators not only need to know what to do and why, they also need to know how to evaluate the effectiveness of the chosen approach.

It’s such an exciting time for public relations. The landscape of the profession is rapidly changing and new methods and tactics are emerging. It is shedding its past approach from disseminating information to a focus on promoting engagement, identifying influencers and developing brand advocates. But the basic principles for excellence in effective PR still apply: strategy, creativity, integrity and follow through.

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