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Creating an organized, comprehensive public relations plan is a valuable asset to any company trying to attain and retain business. The PR plan is meant to help you understand the market in its current state, create company goals and objectives, plan actionable items, and assess the outcome of your plan. Developing an entire plan helps you measure what was successful or unsuccessful, and where to go from there. Without a proper PR plan, it can be difficult to know where energy was well-spent or if any meaningful impact was made on your audience. While it may seem complex, it’s best to think of the PR Plan as a four-step process by remembering the acronym: ROPE.

Before you can come up with an effective plan, you must understand the:

  • Opportunity/problem
  • Audience


Once you research, you can set goals and create objectives.

  • Impact objectives outline what you want the effect of your activities to be on your audience, including informational, attitudinal and behavioral changes. Example:
    • To increase the amount of new customers flying into your facility over last year by 5% by Dec. 31.
    • Increase, per uplift, large cabin aircraft by 8%.
  • Output objectives relate to what you will actually produce to achieve your goals. Example:
    • Distribute three press releases in the next six months.
    • Post to social media six times every week.
    • Personal visits/phone calls to pilots using your airport but not fueling with you.
    • Devise an incentive to make sales contests for CSRs successful.

This step includes your action plan. Subsets of programming include:

  • Themes and messages—themes are like slogans while messages are like mission statements.
  • Controlled and uncontrolled media—controlled media include social media posts, videos, brochures, posters and fliers. Uncontrolled media include press releases, feature stories, and photos and videos of an event.
  • Actions and special events—what will you do to reach your goals and objectives?
  • Principles of effective communication—including source credibility, two-way communication, audience participation, salient information, effective nonverbal and verbal cues, opinion leaders, group influence and selective exposure.

Evaluating Objectives

Monitor and assess the effectiveness of your impact and output objectives. This could be as simple as a checklist or a survey to assess audience attitudes, knowledge and behaviors.