Program by Deaf Litercy Initiative
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Thinking Skills

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Problem Solving Level 2

Level 2

Public Relations or Communications Professionals

  • deal with challenges in getting information to be published and for press releases
  • deal conflicts when planning, running and evaluating communications plans – they must listen to suggestions, give reasons and try to come to an agreement
  • deal with unhappy customers, clients, members and donorsPossible Solutions
    • a donor may complain that they have not been given enough recognition for their donation
    • a customer at an event may complain that a promised ticket is not available

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Problem Solving Level 3

Level 3

Public Relations or Communications Professionals

  • discover that published information is not complete, correct or current – they must find ways to make the corrections
  • realize there is not enough time, money and human resources to complete work as planned – they
    • find ways to move resources around to do the most important things first
    • find ways to save money
    • note the challenges for future planning
  • deal with problems on the day of eventsExample
    • people do not arrive as expected
    • performers cannot travel in safely
    • equipment doesn’t work properly so the event does not run
  • deal with suppliers who do not fulfill their contractsExamples
    • a freelance writer backs out of assignments
    • a historian does not do enough research
    • a performer arrives late

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Decision Making Level 2

Level 2

Public Relations or Communications Professionals

  • decide to purchase ad space or sponsor events
    • consider the expense and the possible outcome
  • choose whom they will invite to meetings and events
  • choose the stakeholders that should be involved planning
  • choose key media people that are likely to report on the event and organization in a positive manner

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Decision Making Level 3

Level 3

Public Relations or Communications Professionals

  • choose suppliers and service providersExamplesPublic relations and communications professionals choose
    • contractors to develop learning kits for educational programs
    • freelance writers, photographers, graphic designers and printers for publications
    • venues, caterers, hosts and entertainment for events

    Entertainment agents choose band members for tours and places for performances

    • when selecting contractors they consider project needs, cost, expertise, reputation and experience
    • when selecting space for the event they consider location, cost, quality and if it will work
  • decide how they will communicateExample
    • use mail, email, post newsletters or some combination by considering the target audience, costs, benefits and limits of each approach
  • post newsletters on websites plus send mail to get information to stakeholders who have spam filters
  • choose the communications tools by considering the
    • needs of the audience
    • purpose of the communication
    • time to develop the tool
  • decide to share information
    • identify topics for which a communication plan is needed – they do this by staying aware of employees’ and public’s concerns, news reports, reviewing press releases from government agencies and related organizations

    Sharing too much information too often may result in important information being missed.

    Not sending out enough information may affect the reputation of the organization or may limit the chance to communicate.

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Critical Thinking Level 2

Level 2

Public Relations or Communications Professionals

  • evaluate if a contractor is right for the job
    • consider the project, the overall cost, the ideas they present, and the contractor’s reputation and experience
    • apply past experience both with the same contractor and with other service providers

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Critical Thinking Level 3

Level 3

Public Relations or Communications Professionals

  • determine if the published material gives the intended message
    • assess the quality of layouts, photographs, images, and how well they all work together
    • determine the relevance, tone, clarity and level of detail of the message
    • consider the publication, audience and purpose
  • determine how media topics affect the organizationThey consider
    • risks associated with action and inaction
    • recent misunderstandings that could come back again
    • outcomes that could damage the organization’s image
  • assess if the communication plan is appropriate and effectiveThey consider the
    • audience
    • goal
    • objectives
    • organizational needs
    • budget
    • results of similar plans
    • potential outcomes for the organization

    This assessment takes place when

    • creating a communications plan
    • determining how to promote an event
    • evaluating the success of past actions

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Job Planning and Organizing 1

Own Job Planning and Organizing

Public Relations or Communications Professionals are responsible for planning and organizing their own job tasks. They

  • work on many projects at any given time
  • put tasks in order to make things as effective as possible
  • change plans to include input from co-workers, colleagues at partner organizations and contractors
  • change daily plans to take advantage of media opportunities
  • develop ways to address situations that could damage the reputation of their organization and respond quickly to increase the chance of resolving the problem
  • do tasks given to them by supervisors
  • co-ordinate work tasks with co-workers
  • identify work tasks on their own

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Job Planning and Organizing 2

Planning and Organizing for Others

Public Relations or Communications Professionals

  • organize the work of those they supervise
  • organize the work of contractors
  • co-ordinate the efforts of members and volunteers
  • do short and long-term planning for their organizationsPublic relations and communications professionals at a senior level work alongside senior managers and take part in strategic planning.

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Use of Memory

Public Relations or Communications Professionals must remember

  • timelines for multiple projects
  • requests to make sure that key dates, activities and tasks are not missed
  • media contacts’, what they prefer to cover and stories recently covered to decide whom to call to get publicity
  • names and faces of media contacts, donors, members, volunteers and senior management in large organizations to build trust and relationship
  • what made publications, events, strategies and campaigns work well
  • what made publications, events, strategies and campaigns not work well
  • key messages, parts of speeches, facts and figures to use during presentations, media interviews and when communicating with the public

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Finding Info Level 2

Level 2

Public Relations or Communications Professionals

  • find information about potential suppliers and contractors by checking lists and asking others for suggestions

POPRCP – Thinking Skills – Finding Info Level 3

Level 3

Public Relations or Communications Professionals

  • find information to develop communication strategies, plans and publications
    • read background papers and reports prepared internally
    • communicate with co-workers
    • interview others who have developed plans
    • seek information from others for planning
    • research other successful plans
    • put information together that clearly gives facts and information
  • find information about industry trends and what the public thinks by
    • watching the news
    • reading newspapers and news clips, news magazines quickly
    • reading media websites quickly
    • reviewing email alerts
    • responding to the public