the “SPIN Cycle”

I recently came across the definition of “SPIN” described as this… “a phase in which newly washed laundry is spun rapidly in a washing machine in order to extract most of the water”.  It occurred to me that communications planning is designed to do much of the same feat.  
 
The big difference?  There isn’t much of one when you stop and think about it.  Putting a SPIN on anything relating to PR activities is a phase of the communications plan – what I like to call the “SPIN cycle”. In definition – a phase in which the strategy is spun using a cyclical approach of planning, research and evaluation before, during and after every PR campaign in order to extract the most benefit.  
 
Important questions to ask yourself during the “SPIN cycle” are… Where are we now? Where do we need to be? How do we get there? Are we getting there? How did we do? I found a five-step process of planning, research and evaluation works best for clients as a virtuous sequence in PR planning – where the end results are fed back into the first step of the planning process to improve upon the next campaign.  
 
1.    Audit – Gather information and conduct research to build a foundation for the PR campaign or program.
2.   Setting objectives – Align publicity objectives with the goals and objectives of the company.
3.   Strategy and plan – Identify messaging, media, intended behavior outcome, gaining qualitative and quantitative research.
4.   Ongoing measurement – Steering, adjusting and improving the PR program
5.   Results and evaluation – Quantifying the outcome
 
After each PR program, define what worked and what didn’t. Using this “SPIN cycle” is an effective way of learning about the most successful tactics, the audiences that responded best, and the most appropriate timings and media.  Like any other activity, you should make sure that mistakes are not repeated and you know what worked best in order to improve the next campaign.

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