Modernising public relations and a planning case study

Modernising public relations and a planning case study


Public relations and marketing practitioners have access to a vast amount of data than ever before to help identify and understand publics, or audiences, if you prefer marketing parlance. I presented at a joint CIPR Yorkshire and Lincolnshire event at Leeds Beckett University last night, and talked through how public relations workflow is changing.

We’re shifting from publicity, to influencer relations, community management and social business. Every communication team and public relations agency is facing this challenge.

It’s a story that I told at the World PR Forum in Madrid, and the PRSA International Conference in Washington.

Planning exercise

As part of the session I ran through a public relations planning exercise using data and tools to identify a public or audience, and insights to influence behavioural change.

Research to inform insights should the start point for any public relations campaign.

The session was inspired by Julian Cole’s Digital Strategy Toolbox 2014 who gave a keynote at Upload Lisboa 2014, Portugal.

Julian is head of communication planning at BBH in New York and presented a communication planning exercise for Dutch airline KLM using free tools.

It’s a smart approach as there are so many free tools available on the web to enable you to experiment with data.

No such thing as free

That said free or low cost tools are never as sophisticated or robust as commercial tools and there is no guarantee of the quality of the output or continuity of service.

No organisation provides tools for free without the expectation of a return. Like my goddaughter remarked recently, no one ever just invites you for dinner.

Some services are freemium with the expectation that you’ll upgrade, whereas other such as Google and Facebook provide data in the expectation that you’ll buy paid media.

I ran through an exercise for a fictitious travel agent wanting to attract people from around the UK to visit Leeds for short breaks using a variety of Google, web and social tools.


I’ve posted links to all the tools and information on my website so that you can interrogate it and check it out for yourself.

You can apply this approach to any market, topic or organisation.

I’ve summarised the findings on three slides at the end of the deck. Please check out the slidedeck and let me know what you think.

Finally thanks to Julian for inspiring this exercise, my colleagues at Ketchum, and friends from the CIPR Social Media Panel that contributed to this deck.

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