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Pugliese on PR

The communications plan

By Tina L. Pugliese, APR, Pugliese Public Relations

tina puglieseAny public relations campaign should start with a plan. The plan can be dynamic and change as the situation changes, but if a well-thought-out communications plan is in place before the campaign is launched, everyone involved will be better prepared to adjust as needed.

A communications plan is an important component for any project, program, service or activity and provides a framework for ensuring that information is shared with appropriate audiences on a timely basis and by the most effective means.  

Public participation activities, media campaigns, launches and advertising promotions are all elements of an overall communication plan. Without a communication plan, there is an increased risk that an organization will react to rather than lead the communication process.  Reactive communication often devalues the corporate and community reputation of an organization’s projects, programs and services and dilutes the corporate messages the organization wishes to achieve.

Every organization needs an effective communications program whether it is communicating with potential donors, members, policy makers or the general public. No matter the size of your organization, the communications effort should be focused so that the allotted funds are spent effectively. Even a very limited communications budget can yield valuable results in a well-designed and carefully implemented communications program.

To assure that the communications budget is spent exactly as it should be, it is critical to develop a strategic communications plan. As with an overall strategic plan, a communications plan helps an organization identify where it wants to go, and develop strategies to get there.

Just because a public relations program is active does not mean it is helping the organization reach its most important goals. A strategic communications plan keeps public relations efforts in sync with where the organization is headed.

Crisis planning is also an essential part of your business's PR plan. This should include all possible negative scenarios and the appropriate responses to them. Ensure that other members of your business are aware of crisis procedures, and take time to do a test run to help iron out any inconsistencies or holes in your plan.

Planning your PR strategy now will not only help generate new ideas and opportunities for you and your business to shine, it will give you peace of mind in your day-to-day operations. While PR plans are always subject to change, planning ahead will enable you to stick to your overall goals and maintain your focus.


Tina Pugliese's columns on public relations appear in Palm Beach every other Monday. Her previous column can be found here.

Tina L. Pugliese, APR is an executive coach and counselor for Pugliese Public Relations, a communications firm in Boynton Beach, Florida. Pugliese is an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America, and is the author of the book, Public Relations for Pharmacists, and e-books, Marketing Your Business for Success, How To Work With The Media, Public Relations Manual — A Guide for Entrepreneurs, and the PR Survival Kit.  She can be reached at (561) 889-3575 and by email at  Her web site is

Article excerpted from e-book, PR Survival Kit, by Tina L. Pugliese, APR.



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