PR events are usually planned in categories ranging from creativity to the mundane financial aspect. All aspects of the event are important when planning and each step and aspect should be given full attention.
The PR events planning process takes time and effort and is not an entirely exciting task. The PR events planning tasks are commonly viewed as one of those things that must be done instead of one that wants to be done. Planning PR events often lacks the satisfaction and personal sense of accomplishment that many planners receive from special event planning. However, depending on the type of planning, it can be the exact opposite and may prove to be an easy and smooth process. It all comes down to the way the planning is approached.
The objective of PR planning is to figure out the best and most beneficial way to accomplish the goal. The basic concept is simple and straightforward, but the added steps to include creativity and provide the extra touches can make the planning process confusing and time consuming. While it may be easier to just apply the basic and simple steps to the planning, the success of the event depends largely on presentation. Taking the extra time and applying the effort will increase success rates and make the event much more intriguing and appealing. There are generally two types of PR events planners. Those with traditional views who set goals, identify the objectives, and then create the steps to achieve the goals. Contemporary planners add the creativity component. They add strategy and organisational tactics to the planning. The use of strategy is a very powerful and important aspect in the planning process. Strategic planning defines the framework and goals for a long-term process. Some planners choose to employ tactical planning instead, which focuses on a specific time period rather than the entire life of the project.
When preparing to plan PR events, team building events, training courses, sales presentations, product launches, exhibitions, annual general meetings, seminars, conventions, or awards ceremonies planners must be aware of the necessary steps to follow to plan successfully. Many times these steps are varied and personalised to give a boost to the event. However, the baselines should be followed to be sure that nothing is overlooked during the planning process. The planning will be time consuming and will include multiple meeting sessions, trainings and conferences. Everyone involved in the planning should have the same goals and work as a strong team to make every step of the planning effective and beneficial; the first and most important step is to establish an audience and goal identification.
The questions posed here should be whom the organisation's target audiences are, why the audience is important and what view does the organisation want the audience to have; these are important factors to consider in order to ensure that the PR events will actually be presented to those with an interest in the organisation. The audience is the key to success during an event and those in the audience should have relevance and an importance to the organisation. Once the target audience has been selected, the next step is to explore the relationship already existing between the organisation and the members of the audience. This falls under the planning category of reporting research findings. When planning these steps, include questions of what the audience's view is of the organisation, what issues and appeals are important to this target audience and which media does the audience trust and use. Having the answers to these questions help to ensure that the most effective media sources are being used to reach the target audience.
The last area to consider is assessment and plan development. This is where the first two stages of planning are integrated and built upon. The important questions to consider are how the audience's view differs from the desired one, what message themes will have the greatest impact on this target audience, what are the best ways of reaching this audience and who will serve as the organisation's contact when working with the audience. This final step will identify the most effective and efficient means of reaching the target audience.
The three key steps to planning PR events should be the basic guideline followed during the planning process. Audience and goal identification, reporting research findings and assessment and plan development are the areas to focus on when planning. If these areas are overlooked, the PR events will not be targeting the correct audience and will not be a successful event. Having defined goals for the purpose of the event is essential. It is the first and most important step in any planning process and it is what the rest of the event is planned around. If the goals are not clear a proper audience will not be selected and the outcome could be devastating and a waste of time. Since so much time and effort goes into the planning process, it is imperative to make sure every step of the planning is covered and the event will be presented to the correct audience. These steps will provide the foundation for successful and effective PR events.