Select a current political, social or environmental issue that is receiving coverage in the media, or choose an organisation you feel needs a better public relations approach, and design a basic public relations strategy to present the issue or organisation to its publics and gain stakeholder support.
This can be a small or large organisation, with which you are closely acquainted or not, but it must be a real organisation or real issue which you can research via media coverage or a web site or a personal contact within the organisation.
Previously, students have chosen issues such as:
Food irradiation (representing an anti-irradiation lobby group)
Sporting events (representing the organisers of the Goodwill Games in a campaign to better educate the public about the format of swimming events)
Fundraising campaigns, launch parties, cultural events (drawing up a plan for the running of Curry Night here on campus or addressing the Big Day Out festival's problems after the death of a participant in the mosh pit)
Product launches (launching a new band, promoting a new brand of pizza, launching a residential property development).
These are just ideas, use them as a guide only - you can come up with any problem or opportunity facing any organisation.
Your PR plan must include:
- An executive summary (you do this last but it comes first in the document: it is a one-page summary over viewing the gist of the plan and its recommendations, intended as an at-a-glance reference for busy executives)
- A situation analysis and problem/opportunity definition (this should look at the past, present, and future of the client, their context or environment, and their publics from a PR perspective)
- A research plan (because you don't have funds to actually DO the research you must simply plan out what needs to be done, e.g. will you use focus groups, surveys, etc., and if so what issues are you trying to uncover and what discussion guidelines will you require)
- A list of publics
- A detailed set of measurable objectives
- A strategy overview
- A tactics list that provides your client with a range of creative choices
- A budget (each tactic must be accurately costed: phone printers or other service providers and ask for quotes to make sure you're estimating current costs)
- Evaluation methods - an explanation of how you will evaluate the success of your activities.
There is NO WORD COUNT for the PR plan. Real-world PR campaigns do not conform to word counts but to time and value constraints.
Assess how much time you have available to spend on this subject, how much this assignment is worth to you (in terms of marks), then make a judgement as to how much you will be able to achieve, and how much detail you will be able to provide, in the time available. The requirement is not to develop an actual fully-fledged campaign plan (this often takes months of work by an entire PR team!) but to outline the most important ideas and requirements in a plan overview, and present them as if you were pitching your ideas to your chosen client. If you pitch well, and the arguments behind your ideas are strong and well researched, you should get the job!