The PR BlogPublic RelationsPR StrategyYour Bullshit PR Strategy is a Word Salad, Sorry

Your Bullshit PR Strategy is a Word Salad, Sorry

How to write a 1-page strategy that will help you win.

Cover photo by Jerry Silfwer (Instagram)

A bullshit PR strategy is little more than a word salad.

Strategy is an overused and inflated term, especially in PR and marketing. Many conflate strategies with specific plans, codes of conduct, mission statements, visions and values, etc. Those are the hallmarks of a bullshit PR strategy.

In short: Many PR strategies are word salads.

Read also: Corporate cringe

A strong PR strategy should outline how you expect to outperform your competitors. Most of everything else should go into your PR plan instead.

But we often get this wrong.

The Bullshit PR Strategy is Dead

Most businesses have competitors. A strategy should tell you how to face these market competitors and come out on top. Simple, right?

To put it as simply as possible:

A strategy is how you win at something. Nothing more, nothing less. Otherwise, your strategy is bullshit.

The why, where, when, how and what are important questions to answer, but you can save them when it’s time to create an actual plan. Many people talk about “strategies” when they mean “plans” — and vice versa.

David and Goliath - Stupid Majority - Smart Minority
Do you remember when David brought a slingshot to a spear fight?

How to Write a 1-Page Strategy

My inspiration for writing no-bullshit strategies comes from the classic Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt. The 1-page strategy focuses on how to win.

Here’s how you can write a 1-page strategy that fits one page—using the mythical battle between David and Goliath as an analogy:

1. Analysis

  • David can’t beat Goliath using his size or raw strength, but he has an advantage in speed and accuracy from a distance.

2. Guiding Principle

  • David shouldn’t engage in close combat but rather use tools that will allow him to strike from a distance.

3. Coherent Actions

  • David shouldn’t use any heavy armour because that would slow him down.
  • David should use a slingshot, a weapon he is familiar with and can strike from a distance.
  • David should leverage the surprise element and not advertise his advantage beforehand.

If you write 1-2 clear sentences per bullet, your strategy should fit nicely on one page.

Read also: The Easy Street PR Strategy: Keep It Simple To Win

The above can easily fit on one page. Please note: The carry-out details could be outlined in the plan — and the plan always comes later.

Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer
Jerry Silfwer, alias Doctor Spin, is an awarded senior adviser specialising in public relations and digital strategy. Currently CEO at KIX Index and Spin Factory. Before that, he worked at Kaufmann, Whispr Group, Springtime PR, and Spotlight PR. Based in Stockholm, Sweden.


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