By Tiffany Miller, Account Supervisor, R&J Public Relations
Planning is an essential part of any effective communication program. A good, solid plan serves as the roadmap to success and keeps clients and agency account teams in sync with organizational goals, providing direction on how to best achieve results that will truly impact clients’ bottom line.
But as important as it is to have a plan (and to follow it), it is equally as important to know when a course correction is in order.
John Lennon once said, “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.” That saying can be applied to your communication plan. Plans aren’t meant to be set in stone. Many times, the course changes due to outside variables like a change in market conditions, a new competitor, new technology, etc. While having a strong PR plan in place is key, being able to recognize when the plan needs to be adapted to meet current client needs and goals is critical.
Ask yourself the following questions to see if it’s time to shift your direction in order to stay on the right course:
1. When was the last time you reviewed your client’s PR Plan?
2. Has the plan been shared with all team members?
3. Have any new variables come into play? Are there any new competitors, has the marketplace shifted, is there a new CEO, etc.?
4. Does your client still view success in the same way?
5. Are there any new major initiatives coming up that weren’t identified when you created the original plan (i.e. tradeshows, new product launches, a new service being offered, etc.)?
Aim to review PR plans with your team at a minimum once a quarter, and evaluate if you’re still on the right track. If changes need to be made, make sure to revise the plan and share it with your client. Their feedback and support will be critical to your team’s success. After all, failing to plan is planning to fail.