Publicity vs. overall strategic communications

Posted on July 2, 2010


“It’s not about ‘publicity,’ it’s about overall strategic communications.”

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If the goal is to increase enrollments in a certain educational institution, then the approach should not just be to place an advertisement or a supplement in a leading newspaper, right?

You can’t really expect to have a marked increase in enrollments just by that one thing alone. I believe there should be a solid and strategic communication plan that takes into account various aspects of the “enrollment challenge”. Placing an ad in a newspaper shouldn’t be the default solution.

We should study, for example, current communication strategies being implemented and how we can improve it, our customers and stakeholders and what motivates them and prevents them from engaging with our brand, our competitors and what they’re up to, our media mix,  and the education landscape, to name a few aspects.

We should plan our steps, test-drive this before implementation, and make some necessary refinements before launching the campaign. After which we evaluate and improve our strategy to move on to the next stage of the challenge.

Being in a Communication and Public Relations Office does not mean we’re just in charge of placing ads and charming the media. We don’t just create content for collaterals. Communication is more than that. We also do communication planning and evaluation. We influence choices and perceptions. We even help change lives for the better. We strategize, not just publicize mindlessly.

And we listen to recommendations and “voices of dissent”, even if they’re from underlings like me.