BY: PAXTON MITTLEMAN
This February, I represented PRSSA-UD at one of the Public Relations Student Society of America’s Delaware Chapter (PRSA-DE) networking events. As I sipped coffee and ate some of the provided refreshments, I listened to Dave Brond from Aloysius Butler & Clark (AB&C) and Cortney Klein from WSFS Bank discuss the elements of an effective strategic planning process. Here are my top three takeaways from Brond and Klein on how to best create a strategic plan in order to optimize its potential for success:
1) Content is king, no matter what. Brond emphasized that in an ever-evolving industry, it is important to never lose sight of the fact that at the core of the newest digital tactic is a story waiting to be told. As public relations professionals, we have to focus on how we tell these stories, and what is the best type of content to convey them to our target audiences. For example, is Twitter better than Instagram? Will the key public see your message if it’s in a print publication, or is it better suited for web?
2) Mobile should come first in all plans. Klein talked about the launch of WSFS’ Mobile Cash campaign, and how it was a big hit with the bank’s customers. This is because consumers are using their phones more and more to execute daily tasks, from waking up in the morning to completing a bank transaction. Klein’s example only further confirms incorporating a mobile component into your next public relations strategy is critical to better resonates with your customer’s changing consumer habits.
3) Customers trump “white space” in strategic planning. When stacking up a strategic brand campaign against competitors, Brond notes there is always this “white space,” or a public relations arena (such as print advertising, Snapchat geofilters, etc.) where no competitor has ventured. While it’s smart to consider the white space and decide if it’s worth tackling, what’s most paramount in public relations is advocating for the customers and if they will respond well to that medium and message. There might be a reason why no competitor has ventured into that white space!
As aspiring public relations practitioners, it’s key to learn these trends in strategic planning so we can apply them to our future jobs and internships. By becoming stellar planners, we will stand out among the competition and effectively contribute to any organization we are part of, whether it’s for three months or for life.
Paxton Mittleman is a senior at the University of Delaware majoring in Mass Communication with minors in Advertising, English, and Entrepreneurship. When she’s not serving as PRSSA-UD’s Vice President of External Affairs, she can be found tweeting as a Social Media Leader for the Social Media Ambassador program @BlueHenPaxton or volunteering with the sisters of Gamma Sigma Sigma. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn or visit her website to learn more about her!