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strategic public relations plan
Tasks
1. Your job is to produce a strategic public relations plan
This should be written as a professional document, with an appropriate tone and structure. The audience is the board (or equivalent) of the organisation you work for or the client you are addressing. You should also provide an indicative budget (no detailed breakdown is required) which should be reasonable in the context of the organisation concerned (affordability), country (ies) of operation, and the nature of the communications challenge being addressed. Your plan should be deliverable within this budget.
Preface your submission with an executive summary and then cover:
1. Situational and organisational analysis
2. Discussion of potential issues and risks
3. Identification & prioritisation of key publics/stakeholders
4. SMART objectives and key messages
5. Communications strategy(ies) – the overall approach(es) used to achieve the objectives set
6. Discussion and details of appropriate forms of outcome evaluation
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You and your team’s capability to select tactics and implement the plan is assumed. You would move on to finalise these aspects once the board approves your strategic plan. Consequently, tactics/techniques, timetabling and resources are not required at this stage.
2. Write a rationale for each step of your approach
Your rationale is a separate, reflective document that should discuss the concepts and thinking that underpin your plan. It should be written in an essay format and style. It is not a document that would be presented to management, nor a commentary on your plan, but it does crystallise the thinking you would use to justify (either internally or to a client) your recommendations if challenged to do so. It is not a generic discussion of planning and related topics, but is directly focussed on your specific strategic planning elements.
Following an introduction, structure your rationale according to the six sections listed above and you should show how theory has informed your practical decisions. In each section, your rationale should cover the following:
1. Discuss the theory you have drawn on in that section; justify your choice, and compare and contrast with any alternative approaches (where applicable).
2. Explain how the theory drawn upon has informed your recommendations and analyse how this will result in them being more effective.
Word count and referencing
? Your plan should not exceed 3,000 words.
? The rationale is limited to 2,500 words.
? With one exception, appendices are not required and any provided will be ignored; the exception is a list of references (using the Harvard referencing system) at the end of the rationale.
? Limited use of endnotes is allowable in the plan; footnotes should not be employed.
? Referencing does not contribute to the word count.
? A short statement of assumptions can be provided and does not contribute to the word count.
? Separate word counts should be provided for the plan and rationale.
? It is a condition of passing this assignment that substantive responses are provided to both tasks.
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Marking criteria
You will be given credit for
Plan
? Practical and creative approach appropriate for the organisation, as well as the stakeholders and issue addressed
? Insight generated from analyses and mapping/prioritisation undertaken
? Consistency between objectives set and evaluation undertaken
Rationale
? Analysis of relevant theory
? Linkage between theory discussed and recommendations made
? Evidence of effective, strategic communications thinking
Assessment conduct and presentation
You are reminded about these important points
? Any submission where one (or both) of the word counts diverge by more than +/- 10% will be downgraded by one classification and the same penalty will be applied if one or more word counts are absent
? A word count must be given at the end of each section separately for the campaign plan and the rationale, not collectively.
? All pages in both the plan and the presentation content must be numbered.
? Your CIPR membership number must also be included as a header/footer and your name must not appear anywhere on your script.
? Assignments where plagiarism is proven will be failed. Poor, or lack of knowledge about referencing is not a defence against plagiarism.
? You must complete a cover sheet and include this as the front page of your work

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