PR Planning

Situation – Planning a Public Relations campaign can be quite an intricate task. There are many steps that need to be taken in achieving the goal of a campaign, so it is fair to say that the best place to start is…figuring out what the situation is and researching it! Because without understanding the situation, PR professionals cannot set valid objectives for the program (Wilcox et al. 2013). Take the issue of violence against women for example. Unfortunately there have been a significant amount of women in history, who have been abused, and the issue is still prevalent today. Thankfully, due to a thorough understanding of the situation, campaigns have been created and significant improvement has been made to help the issue.

Objectives – Once the situation is understood, objectives can be implemented. Knowing how to set goals and objectives for a campaign, makes the planning more effective (PRIA 2016). For an example, let us pretend that a campaign for violence against women requires $20,000 to be used to rehabilitate women, who do not have safe home environments. According to Wilcox, Cameron, Reber, and Shin (2013), evaluating the proposed objective can be done by asking three questions.

  1. Does it really address the situation? Yes definitely, because a womens’ shelter can be funded with this money, that will provide a safe and protected environment for them.
  2. Is it realistic and achievable? Yes, acquiring $20,000 can be achieved through donations from the general public or the government.
  3. Can success be measured in meaningful terms? Yes, monetary goals are easily  measured by an accountant or anyone with basic mathematic skills.

Depending on the complexities of each campaign, PR professionals should give themselves months for planning. This blog post is only touching on the basics of what needs to be covered for a basic violence against women campaign. Research, goals, target audience, strategy, budget, deadlines, are all components of a campaign, which need to be thoroughly assessed in order to make it a success.


Pretty Good Done, image, viewed 01 April 2016,

PRIA 2016, Setting goals and objectives makes your PR planning more effective, viewed 01 April 2016,

Wilcox, D, Cameron, G, Reber, B, Shin, JH 2013, THINK Public Relations, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States of America.


History of Public Relations

Is there a link between Silent Film Actors, the War Effort of WW1 and Public Relations? Yes there is…

Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks, were Hollywood actors and directors of the early 20th Century. They had the ability to convince unprecedented crowds of bewildered Americans, that WW1 was a sacred crusade (Hollywood Silent Film 1980). Their appearances and speeches were more influential than any President, Prime Minister or Politician of that time. The stars raised the nation’s morale and millions of dollars for war bonds.

Image: United Artists, The Company Built by the Stars 1919. From left: Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, D. W. Griffith.

This historical example of Public Relations was so much more than merely advertising an opportunity for Americans to make their country proud. It had a function, a Public Relations function, that was to help the government thrive in a complex and volatile environment, with economic, social, and political factors constantly at risk (Wilcox et al. 2013, p.14).

Fast forward to today and you can see, that Public Relations relies on communication mediums, such as social media, special events, news releases, and feature stories (Wilcox et al. 2013). Today celebrities such as Jamie Oliver, Angelina Jolie, or Kim Kardashian would be in the place of people like Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, D. W. Griffith and Douglas Fairbanks. However, it is a little difficult to imagine modern day celebrities standing on podiums, compelling unprecedented crowds, and shouting their speeches through megaphones, like their predecessors had. Instead we have platforms like Youtube, Facebook, and tools, such as Hashtags, which people tend to use in getting their message across.

Image: Pray For Paris


Hollywood Silent Film, Goes To War, 1980, video, viewed 16 March 2016,

Katharine Kelly, Silent Film Actors and The War Effort: COMM11110, video, 16 March 2016, viewed 16 March 2016,

Liberty Bond 1918, image, viewed 17 March 2016,

Pray For Paris, image, viewed 17 March 2016,

United Artists: The Company Built by the Stars 1919, image, viewed 17 March 2016,

Wilcox, D, Cameron, G, Reber, B, Shin, JH 2013, THINK Public Relations, Pearson Education Inc., Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, United States of America.