PRSA Portland Metro Chapter

The Moving Targets of PR


Sep 15


By Colby Reade, APR

Chief Communications Officer, PRSA Portland


I’ve been told that a lot of work in PR involves hitting a moving target. I disagree. I believe that working in PR involves hitting a target that zigs, zags, jumps, flips, holds completely still and then barrels forward at what feels like an unmatchable pace.


News cycles develop and disappear in a snap. Crises develop from nowhere. Social media conversations grow and evolve organically. New trends emerge faster than you can say Snapchat.


But that’s the fun, right? We work in a completely dynamic environment that can fully upend carefully laid plans, but also open the door for exciting new opportunities on a moment’s notice.


So how do we as professionals successfully execute strategic communications on behalf of our clients and organizations in a thoughtful, measured way against this ever-changing landscape?


I recently shared the biggest trick to this on the CMD Agency blog. I encourage you to read the full post, but at a high-level, it comes down to having two PR plans. One that outlines the big picture vision, and one that maps out immediate tactics.


Another important piece to consider is communication. Not just between the organization and its publics, but between the PR team and the organization. Strong, clear, open dialogue within an organization is the surest way to raise awareness of obstacles or challenges on the horizon. It’s also the best way to make sure that great story opportunities developing within the group are not missed or lost. Are you conducting regular conversations with your organization’s leadership? What about the various teams within your company?


A final factor to effectively hitting the moving target is developing trust between your team and your organization or client. In the age of instant access and response, there is not always time to brainstorm an idea, share it for input, run it through the legal department and then send it out. To be able to respond when opportunities (or crises) arise swiftly, your team must develop and earn the trust of your client or company and establish an agreed upon framework to reference. The powers that be must feel confident in your judgement and quality of work so that they will give you the leeway necessary to act without asking.


What are some of the ways you’ve found to deliver great results in an evolving landscape? Share your best tips and stories in the comments.



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