This week we revisited a concept we are getting took now quite well: the RACE acronym. For those of you who may be confused, it’s a strategic concept that is of particular use in my field of public relations. It is often credited to John Marston back in 1963 and yet we are still using it today. Even with the advent of social media and changing technology, the process we need to go through as we approach a campaign is timeless.
Research and analysis were the two components we focused on this week. Our task was specifically to use the first two letters of the acronym and develop a mini-pr plan. Seems simple enough, right? I would argue that the most difficult part of any campaign is actually the background or research. I don’t think it’s an accident that we are taking our research class right now, as it makes us think more critically.
Working with my partner on this pr-plan, we both realized that the lessons we learned in other classes allowed us to approach the assignment with a more complete outlook. We had several pages of notes that we didn’t even use once we got down to doing the assignment!
The single most difficult aspect for me to learn in the whole program so far has been general strategy or concepts; speaking with my instructor she said that is often the most difficult concept for new students. We had to define one strategic communication goal, and the things we were coming up with were either too specific (more so tactics than strategy) or too generic (do good things is not a strategy). It’s hard to find the right balance. I suppose that’s what most PR professionals spend a career figuring out. The tactics are something that seem to come to mind quickly and almost instinctively (at least for myself), but just like research you need to slow down, back up, and follow a plan. Develop your hypothesis and test it out. In PR, that means stepping back to define your audiences and what their needs are. You may find out that what you think is a great approach just isn’t the right fit.
In the end, this is preparing us for our final assignment of developing a full-on PR plan. It should be interesting, and I look forward to demonstrating the thought process that goes into developing such a plan. For now, here is the outcome of the mini-pr plan I developed with my friend Travis. Take a look and let me know what you think!
If you want to learn some more about the RACE formula, strategy and tactics, take a look at the following links I found interesting: