In this new monthly series, Mark Weiner, CEO of PRIME Research LLP and a member of the PR News Advisory Board, seeks to challenge conventional wisdom and dispel some public relations myths. Mark begins with a myth related to setting PR objectives.
Myth: A good way to set objectives is to track your competition and set your goals based on their performance.
Truth: Tracking competitive performance can be a great source of insight through an analysis of relative strengths and weaknesses in terms of message delivery, media receptivity and more. But as a basis for setting objectives, the assumption that your competitors have the same resources as you do; that their objectives, business priorities and timetable are the same as yours; and, well, that they even know what they’re doing to begin with, is wrong.
A more reliable approach is to begin with a clean slate: Determine which objectives are reasonable, meaningful and measurable for you; use your competition as one of several reality checks, which may include your own “internal clients” whose opinions will contribute to overall planning, resource allocation and evaluation; utilize your peers in marketing and communication whose plans may help to elevate or handicap your own plans; and perform a research-based marketplace assessment to ensure that your plans are free from assumptions, guesswork and erroneous conclusions.
Look for a comprehensive feature on setting effective PR objectives in the March 7 issue of PR News.
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