Public Relations Plan

Public Relations PlanOrder Description
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Aims
To encourage students to demonstrate their ability to apply the strategic planning protocols acquired in unit 2.2 to public relations issues.

Scenario
A major source of waste is that generated by the construction industry; in the European Union, this accounts for one third all waste generated. Re-using construction and related waste reduces the pressure on landfill as well as reducing the consumption of fresh materials.

In the spirit of the circular economy concept, moves are afoot to re-use demolition waste to manufacture recycled bricks. One of the pioneers in this field is ‘circular economy start-up’ StoneCycling, based in the Netherlands. StoneCycling only operates within 150 kilometres of its base in the south of the country. Even though the exact recipe for its WasteBasedBricks are ‘secret’, you can assume that StoneCycling will collaborate with any similar organisation (outside its operating radius) prepared to share ideas and experience.

You work for a similar start-up in a country or region of your choice. In common with StoneCycling, your organisation faces three particular corporate challenges that require your communications expertise.

Corporate challenges
These challenges are:
1. Convince the building trade to construct and demolish buildings in a manner that makes it easy to re-use materials
2. Convince architects to specify re-cycled bricks for new build projects
3. Convince a commercial sector – or sectors – of your choice to adopt environmental building practices (in the Netherlands it is fashion and coffee brands who want to use sustainable products in their buildings).

Your task is to prepare a public relations strategy around the launch of your start-up that addresses the three corporate challenges above. Any external PR activity is restricted to the country/region you operate in and you can assume that public affairs colleagues will handle any liaison with government or similar stakeholders.

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This briefing is based on the following sources that can also provide additional information:

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/may/21/rotterdam-couple-house-madefrom-waste-stonecycling-bricks-netherlands https://www.euractiv.com/section/sustainable-dev/opinion/building-towards-a-circular-economy-inconstruction/
https://www.ellenmacarthurfoundation.org/circular-economy

Please note This is an imaginary campaign associated with a real organisation. You should not make direct contact with the StoneCycling or any of its partners – base your campaign on assumptions made from secondary research.

Task

1. Your job is to produce a strategic public relations plan
This should be written as a professional document, with an appropriate tone and structure. You should also provide an indicative budget (no detailed breakdown is required) which should be reasonable in the context of the organisation concerned (affordability), country (ies) of operation, and the nature of the communications challenge being addressed. Your plan should be deliverable within this budget.

Preface your submission with an executive summary and then cover:
1. Situational and organisational analysis
2. Discussion of potential issues and risks
3. Identification & prioritisation of key publics/stakeholders
4. SMART objectives and key messages
5. Communications strategy(ies) – the overall approach(es) used to achieve the objectives set
6. Discussion and details of appropriate forms of outcome (not output)

evaluation
You and your team’s capability to select tactics and implement the plan is assumed. You would move on to finalise these aspects once the board approves your strategic plan. Consequently, tactics/techniques, timetabling and resources are not required at this stage.

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2. Write a rationale for each step of your approach Your rationale is a separate, reflective document that should discuss the concepts and thinking that underpin your plan. It should be written in an essay format and style. It is not a document that would be presented to management, nor a commentary on your plan, but it does crystallise the thinking you would use to justify your recommendations if challenged to do so. It is not a generic discussion of planning and related topics, but is directly focussed on your specific strategic planning elements.

Following an introduction, structure your rationale according to the six sections listed in task 1 above. You should show how theory has informed your practical decisions. In each section, your rationale should cover the following:

1. Discuss the theory you have drawn on in that section; justify your choice, and compare and contrast with any alternative approaches (where applicable).
2. Explain how the theory drawn upon has informed your recommendations and analyse how this will result in them being more effective.
Word count Your plan should not exceed 3,000 words. The rationale is limited to an additional 2,500 words. It is a condition of passing this assignment that substantive responses are provided to both tasks. Separate word counts should be provided for the plan and rationale.

With one exception, appendices are not required and any provided will be ignored; the exception is a list of references (using the Harvard referencing system) at the end of the rationale. The rationale is not acceptable without a complete list of references in alphabetical order at the end

Limited use of endnotes is allowable in the plan; footnotes should not be employed. Referencing does not contribute to the word count. A short statement of assumptions can be provided and does not contribute to the word count.

Any submission where one (or both) of the word counts varies by more than +10% will be downgraded by one classification. The same penalty will be applied if one or both word counts are absent.

Referencing Use the Harvard referencing system in the rationale.
Assignments where plagiarism is proven will be failed. Poor, or lack of, knowledge about, referencing is not a defence against an accusation of plagiarism.

Number all pages in both the plan and rationale.

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Marking criteria: Credit will be given for:

Proposal ? Practical and creative approach appropriate for the organisation, as well as the stakeholders and issue addressed ? Insight generated from analyses and mapping/prioritisation undertaken ? Consistency between objectives set and evaluation undertaken
Rationale ? Analysis of relevant theory ? Linkage between theory discussed and recommendations made ? Evidence of effective, strategic communications thinking

IMPORTANT:
? You must complete a cover sheet and include this as the front page of your work
? Word counts are required at the end of both the plan and rationale
? Your CIPR Membership Number (if your course started before August 2015) or your CIPR Candidate Number (if your course started after August 2015) must be included as a header/footer – your name must not appear anywhere on your script.

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