7th Edition

Strategic Planning for Public Relations

    556 Pages 14 Color & 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    556 Pages 14 Color & 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    556 Pages 14 Color & 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The seventh edition of Strategic Planning for Public Relations maintains its status as a leading text to guide students in developing successful public relations campaigns.

    Deborah Silverman and Ronald Smith bring their experience as instructors and public relations professionals to the book, providing clear, step-by-step guidance on how to plan and implement strategic communications campaigns. This new edition includes diverse examples of current cases along with classic cases that stand the test of time. It includes new “Ethics Minutes” scenarios in each step, a new research step, and examples of award-winning public relations campaigns. It also significantly increases information on social media and features a reformatting of the tactics step into four separate parts based on the PESO model (paid media, earned media, shared media, and owned media).

    As a leader in teaching public relations strategy, this text is ideal for students in upper division undergraduate and graduate courses in public relations strategy and campaigns.

    Complementing the book are online resources for both students and instructors. For students: step overviews, useful links to professional organizations and resources, checklists for the ten steps in the planning process, and two sample campaigns. For instructors: an instructors’ manual, PowerPoint slides, sample syllabi, a critique evaluation worksheet, and checklists for the ten steps in the planning process. For these online resources, please visit www.routledge.com/9781032391168 .


    Who Uses This Textbook?

    New to This Seventh Edition

    Online Resources for Faculty and Students


    About the Authors


    Structure of This Book

    Public Relations as Part of Management

    Strategic Communication

    Integrated Communication

                Public Relations

                Marketing Communication

                Merging Communication Functions

                Controversy about Integrated Communication

    Benefits of Ethical Public Relations

                Public Relations in the Public Interest


    PESO (Paid, Earned, Shared, and Owned Media)

                Paid Media

                Earned Media

                Shared Media

                Owned Media

                Blending Categories

    Step-by-Step Planning

    Phase One: Formative Research

    Phase Two: Strategy

    Phase Three: Tactics

    Phase Four: Evaluative Research

    Effective Creativity

                  Roadmap to Success

    Works Cited

    Phase One: Formative Research

    Step 1. Analyzing the Situation

                Public Relations Situation

                Learning From Research

                           Best Practice

                Finding Consensus

                           Communicating with Clients

                Issues Management

                Risk Management

                Crisis Management

                Reputation Management

                Ethics and Public Relations

                           Ethical Shortcomings

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 1: Analyzing the Situation

                Checklist 1: Public Relations Situation

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited


    Step 2. Choosing Research Methods

                Can I Do My Own Research?

                Research Ethics

                           Ethical  Treatment of People

                           Ethical Use of Research Data


                           Nonprobability Sampling

                           Probability Sampling

                           Sampling Error and Sample Size

                Primary Research and Secondary Research

                Secondary Research

                           Secondary Information Sources

                Primary Research


                           Focus Groups


                           Content Analysis

                Closing Thoughts about Research

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 2: Choosing Research Methods

                Checklist 2: Research Methods

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited


    Step 3. Analyzing the Organization

                Structure of Organizations

                Situation Analysis

                Internal Environment

                Public Perception

                            Promoting Perception

                External Environment

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 3: Analyzing the Organization

                Checklist 3A: Internal Environment

                Checklist 3B: Public Perception

                Checklist 3C: External Environment

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited


    Step 4. Analyzing the Publics


                            Public, Market, Audience, Stakeholder


                            Characteristics of Publics

                            Categories of Publics

                Intercessory Public

                Opinion Leader

                            Vocal Activist

                Key Public

                Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Public Relations

                Planning Example 4A: Identifying Publics

                Checklist 4A: Publics

                Analyzing Key Publics

                            Stage of Development

                            Characteristics of Key Publics


                            Native American Stereotype

                            Arab Americans and American Muslims

                            Italian American Stereotype

                            Asian American Stereotype

                            LGBTQ Stereotype

                Cultural Context

                Rethinking Your Publics

                Benefit Statement

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 4B: Analyzing Key Publics

                Checklist 4B: Key Publics

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited


    Phase Two: Strategy


    Step 5. Creating Positioning Statements, Goals, and Objectives


                            Research for Positioning

                            Ethics of Positioning



                            Elements of Objectives

                            Hierarchy of Objectives

                            Developing Objectives

                            Writing Objectives

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 5: Creating Positioning Statements, Goals, and Objectives

                Checklist 5: Positioning Statements, Goals, and Objectives

                Ethics Minute Answer Key


                Works Cited


    Step 6. Choosing Proactive and Reactive Strategies

                Proactive Strategy

                Reactive Strategy

                Proactive Strategy 1: Action

                            Organizational Performance

                            Audience Engagement

                            Special Event

                            Alliance, Coalition, Partnership


                            Strategic Philanthropy

                            Corporate Social Responsibility



                Proactive Strategy 2: Communication


                            Newsworthy Information

                            Misinformation, Disinformation, and Fake News

                            Generating News

                            Celebrity Endorsements

                            Congressional Testimony

                            News Peg

                            Transparent Communication

                            Transparency about Public Health: COVID-19 Communication

                Reactive Public Relations Strategies

                Reactive Strategy 1: Preemptive Action


                Reactive Strategy 2: Offensive Response






                Reactive Strategy 3: Defensive Response




                            Strategic Reversal

                Reactive Strategy 4: Diversionary Response





                Reactive Strategy 5: Vocal Commiseration





                Reactive Strategy 6: Rectifying Behavior


                            Corrective Action



                Reactive Strategy 7: Deliberate Inaction

                            Strategic Silence

                            Strategic Ambiguity

                            Strategic Inaction

                Weighing Options and Making Ethical Judgments

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 6: Proactive and Reactive Strategies

                Checklist 6: Proactive and Reactive Strategies

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited


    Step 7. Developing the Message Strategy

                Communication Process

                            Information: Flow of Communication

                            Persuasion: Attempt to Influence

                            Dialogue: Quest for Understanding

                Rhetorical Tradition of Persuasive Communication

                Ethos: Message Source

                            Credibility: Power to Inspire

                            Charisma: Power of Personal Charm

                            Control: Power of Command

                Organizational Spokespeople

                            Celebrity Spokesperson

                            Company Spokesperson

                            Spokespeople and Ethics

                            Paid Endorsements

                Planning Example 7A: Selecting Message Source

                Checklist 7A: Message Source

                Logos: Appeal to Reason

                            Verbal Evidence

                            Visual Supporting Evidence

                            Errors of Logic


                Pathos: Appeal to Sentiment

                            Positive Emotional Appeal

                            Negative Emotional Appeal

                Planning Example 7B: Determining Message Appeal

                Checklist 7B: Message Appeal          

                Verbal Communication

                            Message Structure

                            Message Content

                Nonverbal Communication

                            Kinesics (Body Language)

                            Oculesics (Eye Contact)

                            Proxemics (Social Space)

                            Haptics (Touching)

                            Vocalics (Language Cues)

                            Chronemics (Timing)

                Visual and Aural Communication



                            Physical Artifact







               Branding the Strategic Message

                            Language of Branding

                            Lessons about Branding

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 7C: Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

                Checklist 7C: Verbal and Nonverbal Communication           

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited


    Phase Three: Tactics


    Step 8. Selecting Communication Tactics, Part 1: Owned Media

                The PESO Model

                Owned Media Tactics

                            Strategy for Owned Media

                            Digital Media

                            Electronic Media

                            Interpersonal Communication

                            Print and Online Publications

                            Direct Mail

                Ethics Minute

                What's Next?           

                Planning Example 8A: Selecting Owned Media Tactics

                Checklist 8A: Owned Media Tactics

                Answer Key for Ethics Minute

                Works Cited


    Step 8. Selecting Communication Tactics, Part 2 – Earned Media

                Earned Media Tactics

                            Strategy for Earned Media

                            News Media Theories and Public Relations



                            News Blog



                Public Relations and Earned Media

                            Direct News Subsidy

                            Indirect News Subsidy

                            Opinion Subsidy

                            Interactive Media Engagement

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 8B: Selecting Earned Media Tactics

                Checklist 8B: Earned Media Tactics

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited

    Step 8. Selecting Communication Tactics, Part 3 – Shared Media

                Shared Media Tactics

                            Strategy for Shared Media

                            Social Networking Sites


                            Video and Photo Sharing


                            Disappearing Content Formats

                            Instant Messaging

                            Discussion Forums

                            Social Audio Platforms


                            Closed/Private Community Groups

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 8C: Selecting Shared Media Tactics

                Checklist 8C: Shared Media Tactics

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited


    Step 8. Selecting Communication Tactics, Part 4 – Paid Media     

                Paid Media

                            Strategy for Paid Media

                            Digital Media Advertising

                            Television and Radio Advertising

                            Print Advertising

                            Out-of-Home Advertising

                            Promotional Items

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 8D: Selecting Paid Media Tactics

                Checklist 8D: Paid Media Tactics

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited               


    Step 9. Implementing the Strategic Plan

                Packaging Communication Tactics

                            Thinking Creatively

                            Putting the Program Together

                Planning Example 9A: Implementing the Strategic Plan

                Checklist 9A: Implementing the Strategic Plan

                Campaign Plan Book

                Campaign Schedule

                            Frequency of Tactics

                            Timeline of Tasks

                Campaign Budget

                            Budget Items

                            Approaches to Budgeting

                            Fixed Budget

                            Variable Budget

                            Full-Cost Budgeting

                            Optimal Success

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 9B: Implementing the Strategic Plan

                Checklist 9B: Strategic Plan

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited   


    Phase Four: Evaluative Research


    Step 10. Evaluating the Strategic Plan

                What to Evaluate

                            Design Questions

                            Methods of Evaluative Research

                            Evaluation Criteria

                When to Evaluate

                            Approaches to Research Design

                            Factors in Evaluation Design

                How to Evaluate

                            Judgmental Assessment

                            Communication Outputs

                            Evaluating Awareness Objectives

                            Evaluating Acceptance Objectives

                            Evaluating Action Objectives

                Data Analysis

                Ultimate Evaluation: Value-Added Public Relations

                Ethics Minute

                What’s Next?

                Planning Example 10: Evaluating the Strategic Plan

                Checklist 10: Evaluation Plan

                Ethics Minute Answer Key

                Works Cited


    Appendix A. Media Engagement


                           Reputation and Performance

                           Reputation as a Strategic Tool

                           Reputation Management

                           Reputation and News Media

                           Reputation as a Participant Activity

                           Headlines and Bottom Lines

                Media Relations

                           Media Relations…from the Media Side

                           Media Relations…from the Organization Side

                           Media Relations…from Both Sides

                           Reputational Bumps and Bruises

                           Points for Consideration


                           Interview Setting

                           If You Are Asked for an Interview

                           Dress for Interview Success

                           Interview Posture

                           Interview Planning

                           Preparing for an Interview     

                           Be-Attitudes for Interview Success

                           Interview Attitude

                           Communicating during an Interview

                           Problem Interviews

                           After an Interview


    Appendix B. Crisis Communication

                Types of Crises

                Sudden vs Smoldering Crises

                Crisis Strategy

                Crisis Messaging

                Preparing for Crises


    Appendix C. Example of a Content Analysis

                Example of a Content Analysis

                           Appropriate Topic

                           Population and Sample

                           Unit of Analysis

                           Mechanics of Study

                           Data Reporting

                           Data Analysis













    Deborah A. Silverman is Chair and Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at SUNY Buffalo State University, U.S.A. She is Accredited in Public Relations and a member of the Public Relations Society of America's College of Fellows.

    Ronald D. Smith was Professor Emeritus of Public Communication and former Chair of the Communication Department at SUNY Buffalo State University, U.S.A. He was Accredited in Public Relations.

    “If you’re looking for a communication planning resource, then Strategic Planning for Public Relations is your text. It’s ideal for both students and professionals looking to enhance their knowledge of the campaign development process; a process that, when executed effectively, reinforces public relations as a strategic discipline and critical business management function.”

    Jennie Donohue, University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA.

    “Silverman’s masterful revisions of a PR classic take a seminal textbook to higher heights.”

    Seow Ting Lee, University of Colorado Boulder, USA

    “It provides very extensive, thorough and comprehensive information necessary for public relations campaigns. A useful worksheet/checklist for students to use is a nice bonus.”

    Yeonsoo Kim, Ph.D., APR., The University of Texas at Austin, USA.