Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Strategy and tactic; which is which in PR?

Walk into any boardroom where PR practitioners are meeting and the conversations you are likely to encounter will be revolving about strategies and tactics. 'Strategies' and 'tactics' are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are two very different things. One is the way in which a competitive advantage is (attempted to be) gained, and the other is the competitive advantage. That makes the two things related in the sense that they are both part of the public relations planning process. A strategy is what will set your company apart or help your company or client to reach a goal and objective. For each strategy, there are tactics needed to accomplish that strategy. According to Merrium Webster Dictionary,
a Strategy is a noun that means a: a careful plan or method: a clever stratagem b: the art of devising or employing plans or stratagems toward a goal while a Tactic is a noun that means a ‘device for accomplishing an end.’ Those definitions help to show the differences between the two. One is the strategy or the art of creating a plan, while the other is the means with which that plan is executed. When creating a PR plan, there are essential components that include strategies and tactics. Having these components gives the plan a better chance of success and makes the plan more relevant and tailored for the company or client when these strategies and tactics are based on the company's overall business objectives. To help ensure success companies should create strategies corresponding with the company's and PR plan's objectives as well as tactics tailored for the intended/targeted audiences and media. From a global perspective the components may include things such as the PR objectives, the targeted market in terms of audience and would-be customers, media tools and how you will schedule the media(timelines) the proposed team (if it is not competent enough you may need to outsource) and finally you must put together some evaluation mechanisms that assesses and refocus your PR efforts at regular intervals. All said and done, Young PR Kenya believes while strategies and tactics seem to be the same thing, they are not. Know that one requires the other, and vice versa. To take action and implement a tactic without knowing why wouldn't be very helpful, and to create a strategy without acting upon it would be somewhat pointless.

17 comments:

M.O said...

I like the article and i believe the PR profession in Kenya is evolving from mere off the cuff tactics to strategy and sustainable tactics that are based on research and have critical evaluation parameters.

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