The saying by Winston Churchill reminds us of the importance of planning in any project. In the field of Public Relations/ Communications, a Communication Plan is a must for of Project Managers before rolling up their sleeves and conducting their project.
There are four clear steps called, RACE.
First and foremost, Research allows for a Public Relations professional to find necessary and important research on their target audiences and topics which pivot the industry, the current mainstream trends, and any previous projects which may apply to the current work being conducted.Through this, then, the researcher is allowed the opportunity to gain insight and increase their communication knowledge by understanding the value of the project and its importance. It is the opportunity to learn and understand the values of the project, and of the company/organization that is conducting the project.
Secondly, the analysis step allows the researcher to set a desired goal and objective, in order to accomplish said goal. The goal needs to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely). For example, by the end of the week, an objective could be to increase the sale of tickets to 25%. If the first step is to find where people collect information, then this second step of analyzing allows them to begin combing over the acquired information in order to make a decision about what to focus on.
Thirdly, the researcher will use the communication step. This requires creativity, and possibly multiple strategies.The Public Relations professionals will have to explain and make their case for three key messages to their main stakeholders. Based on the previously acquired research and analysis, other certain design tactics may help achieve the desired goals and objectives.
Finally, at the end of the project, people will have to carry out an evaluation on what they have done. The evaluation will help them identify whether or not they have achieved their goals, their tactics were effective and applicable to the project, and how well their stakeholders received the key messages.