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Tactical PR vs Strategic PR.


Today I want to pen down the differences between two types of PR: tactical and strategic.

In general, people do PR for all sorts of reason. PR is basically done to get the attention of the public, for a purpose.

As definitions:

  • Tactical PR: Public Relations done for immediate purposes. Mathematically defined as: Do X, hype X, get more of Y. There is no medium or long-term strategy involved. In fact, sometimes you don’t even need to use your brain to do tactical PR– the easiest example being to just strip yourself naked? HAHAHA.
  • Strategic PR: Public Relations done in order to raise a company’s position to the higher equilibrium. Strategic PR is always very gradual and subtle, so that people won’t realise -one- event as strategic, especially when you don’t know the person/company’s main objective.

“Really?” You might ask. “Some people are just attention seeking! If so, then which PR should you file attention seeking-ness under?”

And yes, “attention seeking” is also a purpose, if not a fundamental need of some. If attention seeking is done purposefully to raise a person up to the next equilibrium, it is strategic PR. If it is done for the sake of getting attention, period–then it is tactical PR.

Let me give you an example. Assume that you are a pretty girl. Do you accept any sort of modelling that comes in your way? Most people work hard and hope that their “break” will come–that’s more tactical PR than strategic.

But how about the smartest people? I actually suspect that they do strategic PR right from the start and reject work after a while of observing the market. They’d only accept work that raises their equilibrium and market worth gradually.

I think it is the definition of a “higher equilibrium” that makes the whole difference.

So you see, tactical PR can be accidentally part of strategic PR, but not the other way. The issue is opportunity cost–if you spent time doing one campaign that is tactical, would it result in you missing out on a strategic PR opportunity?

So what’s the difference between tactical and strategic PR? The answer lies in a well-defined vision. PR done in accordance to a vision is definitely strategic.

This is why in everything you do or even more importantly do not do, it’s extremely important to adhere to your own defined vision.

And most importantly, strategic PR implies less work in the longer term.


This entry was posted in: PR/Marketing


Wan Wei is a PR practitioner with a heart for pretty things. Formally trained in public relations and quantitative economics, she is also a contributor to various ecosystems in Europe and Asia. Drop her a PM or visit her blog! :)

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