Strategic Communication Plan

 

 

A group assignment that helps students conceptualize the application of PR tactics.

This assignment counts as 25% of your overall grade. 

 

 

Deadline 1: January 21st                                 Agency Identity / Mission and Service / Product Offering.

 

Deadline 2: February 9th                                 Situation Analysis and Campaign Focus.

 

Deadline 3: February 18th                              Campaign Plan and Revised Situation Analysis / Campaign Focus;                                                                                  

Deadline 4: April 7th                                         Promotional / Media Kit and Strategic Communication Plan.

 

Group Presentations: last 4 class sessions       Business Attire, 15 minutes allotted, Incorporate Media.

 

Overview

 

Everyone should form a group of three or four (no more, no fewer). You will form your own agency identity. This includes your agency's name, logo, mission statement, vision and service offerings. Your agency’s objective is to develop a product or service for college students that have a national or multi-campus impact (conceptualize an organizational model of 10 or more colleges). In other words, your agency is working to develop a product or service that will have a presence on college campuses across the country. You demographic focus ... college students. Your location target ... college campuses. You know the college experience because you live it. Furthermore, you have the resources at your disposal to obtain critical information about the college experience that will enable your agency to accomplish its goals.

 

Throughout this assignment, you must demonstrate an ability to strategically communicate with all stakeholders of your market focus. You must define who those stakeholders are and how you intend to address them. You will also be presented with PR problems to solve. Make sure to cultivate strong working relationships, as teamwork is critical for succeeding in this assignment. Everyone will also provide peer evaluations. Collaborate, offer help to each other, and do everything within reason to remain professional as a unit. Every deadline builds into a final presentation during the last class days. These presentations take the place of your final exam.

 

Product or Service Prompt: Offering a Product for Students' Professional Development Across Various Campuses

 

"Agency" may denote several organizational identities. For the purposes of this assignment, you are an agency that will plan PR campaigns. This means, you could be a PR agency branch within a larger company organization, or simply represent a PR agency that has developed a product or service. While entrepreneurial endeavors such as product design and product deployment are rare, they are not unknown occurrences. You will have some leeway on the organizational format of your agency concept. What's most important is that you represent your agency professionally with effective branding. It's also critical that you research, plan, revise and present your PR objectives in a way that's applicable within your agency parameters. 

 

After forming groups, one of your first objectives is to identity what product or service you would like to offer to your target market, college students. The product or service you provide must fit within the following parameters for students: online branding, technological training, intellectual advancement, future salary increases, industry networking opportunities, leadership training, applicable business skills-training, software coding, entrepreneurial training, startup funding, high-powered networking, job placement after college, mentorship from industry professionals (could be any industry or various industries), industry insight (again, for one industry or many), creating student communication channels with industry, incubators / think-tanks, dynamic campus job fairs (could invite virtual or augmented interviews) or any parameter that furthers students' professional development. 

 

Your assignment directives are below:

 

Deadline #1: Agency Identity / Mission and Service / Product Offering 

 

Your group should provide the following:

 

  • Name of your agency. Keep it concise, memorable and functional. Look at other agencies as examples of what's effective and potentially ineffective. 

  • Purchase a URL to represent your agency. If each team member contributes, it will cost only a few dollars each. Do not purchase a URL over $15 under any circumstances. Be strategic about your name selection so that your URL may correspond. 

  • Select a template design on either WordPress or a drag-and-drop web design platform like Wix or Weebly. Provide a link to this template. It's recommended that you begin building your site to represent your agency. You should include everything you believe would help you accomplish your agency's product, service and branding objectives.

  • Design your logo.

  • Define what product or service you believe college students would be interested in.

  • Provide a mission statement.

 

All materials, links and anything else should be submitted to assignments@apr332.com. If files are too big to send via email, you may share documents via Google Drive to chicotsky@gmail.com. Late submissions will disqualify you from earning an 'A' on this section.

 

Deadline #2: Situation Analysis and Campaign Focus 

 

TO SUCCEED WITH THIS DEADLINE, YOUR TEAM MUST STRIKE A BALANCE OF DELEGATING TASKS AND WORKING COLLABORATIVELY.

 

By this deadline, you will write a complete situation analysis (with background information, a public relations audit and a SWOT or problem/opportunity analysis) and your campaign focus (with a problem statement, goals and audience profiles). By now your site should be more developed, along with your product or service. You should have detailed information about how your product or service will function in the marketplace. Define the roles of your agency personnel. Begin conceptualizing and explaining your point-of-sale, if there is one. Also, begin articulating the pain point in the marketplace that you are solving with your product or service. Provide value statements and begin to empower your agency with plenty of PR content that could be deployed if there were ever a challenge by concerned stakeholders (university personnel like the legal team or litigious, oppositional parents).

 

Your group should provide the following: 

 

  • Address the edits and suggestions provided to you from the previous deadline. Explain and justify your new, "pivots" (1-2 paragraphs).  

  • Link to your site with updated content and design elements. Demonstrate the progress your team has made in defining your agency brand. You should move toward advancing your agency identity, defining your product / service and detailing its role in the marketplace. Using the headshot photos provided in class (or other, selected photos), feature your agency personnel. Define roles that would resemble existing PR firms in the marketplace. To do this, research PR firms to determine appropriate titles and roles for your team.

  • Define a situation analysis (1 paragraph).

  • Define a Public Relations audit (1 paragraph).

  • Define a problem / opportunity analysis in Public Relations (1 paragraph).

  • Define a problem statement in terms of providing a PR solution regarding your product / service (1 paragraph).

  • Provide a situation analysis that pertains to your agency's product / service. Include backround information, a public relations audit, and a SWOT or problem/opportunity analysis. You are permitted to go over 1 page if needed. However, brevity and, "word economy," is encouraged. 

  • Provide your campaign focus with a problem statement, goals and audience / demographic profiles. Again, aim for a concise response to this prompt. This section should be one page or less.

  • List any potential challenges by concerned stakeholders (1 paragraph or bullet points). 

 

This information must be submitted via email to assignments@apr332.com. If files are too big to send via email, you may share documents via Google Drive to chicotsky@gmail.com. Late submissions will disqualify you from earning an 'A' on this section.

 

Deadline #3: Campaign Plan and Revised Situation Analysis/Campaign Focus; 

This deadline may incorporate readings over media kits.

 

Refer to your situation analysis, campaign focus and proposed campaign plan to complete the prompts below.

 

  • Define PR stategies (use APA citations). Then, provide 2-3 strategies that pertain to your campaign plan.

  • Define PR  tactics (use APA citations). Then, provide 2-3 tactics that pertain to your campaign plan.

  • Showcase your problem statement, situation analysis, campaign focus and proposed campaign plan on your team's website. Your site should also include your proposed strategies and tactics. Make sure a reader can distinguish between the two when reviewing your site. Your agency's site should be nearing completion. You are encouraged to refer to PR agency sites in the marketplace from which to model your site.

 

Deadline #4: Agency and Campaign Overview

 

Your website should be complete upon submission. Refer to PR agency sites for the best approach to completing this task. The following should be included on your site in a well-formatted, clean and aesthetically appealing portrayal: 

 

  • Features on each team member; their title; their job description; and anything else you believe would present professionalism to your external stakeholders.

  • Agency mission statement.

  • Your product/service focus: a feature on the product/service. 

  • A feature on your target demographic. Be mindful that your target demographic would conceivably view this write-up. Therefore, draft your rhetoric tactfully to avoid offending your user base. Rather, demonstrate that you understand them and have provided a service that solves a pain point. Remember, you represent a PR agency or a company/organization with a subsidiary PR department. Everything you public should meet your broader objectives.

  • Outline your campaign plan to demonstrate your, "deployment strategy," or, "user generation strategy."

 

Along with the PR strategies and PR tactics tasks, must update your website and submit the URL to assignments@apr332.com. Late submissions will disqualify you from earning an 'A' on this section.

 

Presentations: 

 

In place of your final, all groups are required to present their strategic communication plan. Presentations should include the following:

 

  • Agency overview.

  • Product or service overview.

  • Target demographic profile.

  • PR challenges, strategies and tactics.

  • Campaign design and expected outcome.

 

All presentations should have equal speaking roles for each member. A leader of the group may facilitate who will speak, however. Everyone should be in corporate business attire. All presentations should incorporate media, which may include website showcases, product design showcases, graphs or any other visuals supported by accessible media. If you have a URL, service showcase or anything else of the sort, you may share it with the class as they access it on their laptops, tablets or mobile devices. Furthermore, you should utilize the projector, screen and computer system within the classroom to deliver an effective presentation. 

 

Presentations are, "pitches," as much as they are explanations. The pitch component involves selling the value of the product or service offered, as well as the overall competency of the agency. When describing how the PR campaign will be executed, or any other aspects of strategies and tactics, that component is more of an explanation. Be careful not to develop an over-zealous tone and pitch your audience on topics that should be explained. Reserve the sales approach for the appropriate, designated section.