Evaluating your organizations presence in the community and taking specific steps to improve relationships are very important enterprises to take on for any ambitious Public Relations professional. Incorporating these steps as part of a larger strategic outreach campaign will improve your company’s public perception, as well as your chances of landing that big promotion.
The first step to effectively implementing a strategic outreach campaign is writing the plan. Be sure to have an overarching goal clearly stating the desired outcome of the strategic outreach campaign, Examples of an outreach goal include increasing information about your organization, bolstering your company’s public image, or helping to develop local communities through education and investment.
Another important part of strategic outreach is defining the publics and stakeholders. The audiences for strategic outreach campaigns may include policy makers, educators and community catalysts and the plan may include nontraditional publics. Strategic outreach campaigns that incorporate community development need to take into account all of the possible stakeholders in the community.
The overall goal of your strategic outreach plan should have clear objectives which are accomplished by specific tactics. These objectives should be measurable and could include changes in knowledge, attitudes, or values of key publics. Objectives for strategic outreach plans could also include measurable improvements in education, involvement, or wealth. Tactics should detail the tasks performed, resources need, and the process used to achieve objectives. These tactics and objectives should be outlined in a schedule to make sure all team members are held accountable.
Focus on the messages that your campaign is conveying and make sure to explain ideas so that your publics can understand them. For example, banks that offer financial literacy training explain concepts in drastically different way to middle school children than they would to college students majoring in economics.
Finally, including an evaluation section is crucial. Your evaluation should measure how well your outreach plan has carried out specific strategies, objectives and goals. Did your financial literacy program influence people to start a 401k? Has public perception of your organization benefited from your strategic outreach attempts? This is also the section where you lay out which measurement tools you will use to evaluate progress.
Crafting a strategic outreach campaign can add immense value to your organization. If effectively implemented, strategic outreach can have long-lasting, positive community effects as well as boost your organizations reputation. Has your organization engaged in strategic outreach? Do you have any advice to those starting strategic outreach initiatives? Let us know!