Once you have assembled your team and agreed on your purpose, it is time to go to work.
According to school public relations practitioners, seven key elements, when followed in
sequence, offer the best chance for success. You are basically replicating, in microcosm, the
strategic planning process of developing a marketing plan.
1. Conduct a needs assessment. To identify your primary goals, you must first assess your
needs so that you can plan appropriately. Collect and analyze your data, paying special
attention to the differences between current practices and the ideal outcomes desired.
2. Set your goals. Make sure all goals are clear and understood by everyone on the team.
Determine the measurable indicators of success for each goal.
3. Develop your improvement plan. Identify the objectives needed to reach each goal and
develop action steps for each. Designate areas of responsibility for team members and develop
timelines for the various parts of the plan. Provide training as needed on an ongoing basis.
4. Implement the improvement plan. Each team member should be involved in and accountable
for his or her assigned responsibilities.
5. Reflect and adjust. Review progress and reflect on the outcomes on a regular basis to
determine the effectiveness of the plan. Adjust your strategy as necessary to maintain the focus
of your efforts and stay on track to your goal.
6. Evaluate. Based on your identified indicators of success, did you meet your goals? Use your
evaluation to begin the planning cycle again.
7. Communicate. Throughout the entire planning process, it is important to communicate not
only with the team but with the rest of your staff and community as well. Build support for your
efforts by sharing information about the process and the results.