Strategic Planning for Public Relations  book cover
6th Edition

Strategic Planning for Public Relations

ISBN 9780367903848
Published November 12, 2020 by Routledge
658 Pages 43 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The sixth edition of Strategic Planning for Public Relations offers an innovative and clear approach for students wanting to learn how to develop public relations campaigns.

Ron Smith shows how to implement research-driven strategic campaigns, drawing on his experience as a professional in the industry and his teaching in the classroom. He turns complex problem-solving and decision-making processes in strategic communication and public relations into easy-to-follow steps, flexible enough to apply to various situations and organizations in the real world. This new edition includes real-world, diverse examples of cases and current events, along with classic cases that stand the test of time. It includes new research on opinions and practices, covers award-winning public relations campaigns, and significantly increases information on social media, with a reformatting of the Tactics section to highlight internet-based and social 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: chapter overviews, useful links to professional organizations and resources, and an overview of careers in public relations. For instructors: an instructors’ manual, lecture slides, and sample course materials. Please visit

Table of Contents

Phase One: Formative Research 

Step 1: Analyzing the Situation  

Step 2: Analyzing the Organization 

Step 3: Analyzing the Publics 

Phase Two: Strategy  

Step 4: Setting Goals and Objectives 

Step 5: Creating Action and Response Strategies  

Step 6: Developing the Message Strategy 

Phase Three: Tactics  

Step 7: Selecting Communication Tactics 

Step 8: Implementing the Strategic Plan 

Phase Four: Evaluative Research  

Step 9: Evaluating the Strategic Plan  


A: Applied Research  

B: Interviewing

C: Applied Research: Focus Group  

D: Applied Research: Survey

E: Applied Research: Content Analysis

F: Media Engagement 

G: Crisis Communication

H: The PR 200

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Ronald D. Smith was Professor Emeritus of Public Communication and former Chair of the Communication Department at Buffalo State (SUNY). He was an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America.


“Strategic Planning for Public Relations is a crucial text for students entering the industry and seeking a future in managing the relationship between organizations and the public. Through valuable case studies, Smith guides the reader through the steps of the planning process and provides helpful tips and tools to become a master practitioner. This book should be mandatory reading for every student and early-career practitioner.” – Alison N. Novak, Assistant Professor, Rowan University

“Professor Smith’s Strategic Planning for Public Relations has been one of my go-to textbooks when I teach the public relations campaigns course. It is exciting to see the 6th edition, which further illustrates the essential role of research in the process of problem solving and strategic decision making with real-world examples, classic cases and current events. This book equips students and practitioners with essential knowledge and tools to counsel their organizations or clients on managing changes and conducting effective strategic communications.”Yan Jin, Professor of Public Relations, University of Georgia