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CMC Strategic Public Relations Plan

Table of Contents
Executive Summary.2
Situation Analysis Introduction...3
Situation Analysis.4
Introduction......................................................................................................4
Situation..4
Organization...6
Publics.....7
SWOT Analysis..9
Suggested Further Research.....11
Introduction to Recommendations...12
Recommendations..13
Reputation Objectives and Tactics13
Relationship Objectives and Tactics.....16
Task Objectives and Tactics..20
Introduction to Implementation.....24
Implementation25
Reputation Schedule...25
Relationship Schedule.27
Task Schedule......29
Introduction to Budget....31
Budget......32
Introduction to Tactic Evaluation..36
Tactic Evaluation....37
Reputation Tactic Evaluation........37
Relationship Tactic Evaluation......40
Task Tactic Evaluation43

Executive Summary
Custom Manufacturing Creations (CMC) is a corporate company that manufactures automotive parts. Its
headquarters are located in Annapolis, Maryland and it mainly manufactures parts for General Motors,
Chrysler, and Ford. CMCs public relations strategic plan consists of a situation analysis, recommendations
for improvement, an implementation schedule, budget spending to implement the tactics, and an evaluation
plan. The situation analysis provides background information on the company and an analysis of the factors
affecting the companys current condition, both positive and negative. The elements considered are the
situation that CMC is facing, and the organization or internal issues. The publics are also analyzed for a
better understanding of who CMCs publics are and the current relationship with each of them. The situation
analysis contains a SWOT analysis, which discusses the internal and external aspects of CMCs current
condition. Lastly, a suggested further research section is included; it is a list that considers the previously
mentioned information and presents the issues that should be researched further to effectively improve
CMCs performance. The Recommendations section provides goals and objectives that cover the several
aspects mentioned in the situation analysis. Each objective also contains the necessary tactics that need to
be executed so that CMC can begin to improve. Followed by the Recommendations is an implementation
section and budget spending section. The implementation provides a schedule that outlines when each of
the tactics will be executed. Additionally, the budget shows the expected budget spending for execution of
the tactics CMC will be using as well as the evaluation techniques used to measure the effectiveness of the
tactics. Lastly, the objectives are reiterated and the evaluation techniques that CMC will need to use are
provided. The evaluation techniques will allow CMC to measure their tactics and thus their progress. These
techniques will begin in the early stages to allow corrections as the public relations plan progresses. Each
of these sections will work together not only to give an overview of the current situation but also provide
possible execution techniques to improve several aspects of CMC.

Introduction
The first part of the public relations strategic plan consists of a Situation Analysis. This section provides an
overview of CMC, its current situation and the factors that are affecting it. It analyses the situation,
organization, defines CMCs key publics and provides a SWOT analysis.

Situation Analysis
Introduction
Custom Manufacturing Creations (CMC) is a publicly traded, investor-owned corporation that is
listed under the stock symbol CMC, manufactures various automotive parts. CMC mainly, but not
exclusively, manufactures parts for General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. CMC is headquartered in
Annapolis, Maryland and currently employs 10,000 people. The majority of the people employed work at
CMCs main manufacturing plant and distribution center.
CMC is currently facing challenges due to several internal and external problems. One of the
challenges is the state of the economy. Specifically, CMC needs to figure out how CMC, CMCs clients, and
the automotive industry are being affected by the economy in an effort to mitigate potential negative
impacts. Another issue that CMC needs to consider is the recent recalls of GM cars because CMC provides
the parts for its cars. While CMC has not been publicly blamed for faulty mechanisms, it is imperative that
CMC consider how this could affect the quality perception of our products.
Currently, CMC does not have a good relationship with the media. CMCs communication with its
publics and the media is poor and there is little to no trust or loyalty to the company. CMC has poor public
visibility and poor public recognition for its products and quality which are essential for the continuity of the
company.
Another issue that CMC needs to address is the internal communication, or silo effect. The failure
for departments to communicate and coordinate activities translates into misuse of resources and missed
opportunities to create a meaningful impact for the brand, sales, and marketing. Additionally, there is no
trust among co-workers or teamwork between departments. The poor morale in and among departments
hinders efficiency and productivity and positive word-of-mouth praise for CMC. Moreover, upper
management is not effectively communicating with employees which has caused can create a tense
atmosphere that fails to engage lower level employees.
Overall, CMC needs to consider and pay attention to the economy, the recent GM recalls, and
public perception of the company, the media, car sales, competing companies, and the silo effect situation
within the company.
Situation

The implementation of this strategic integrated public relations plan is imperative given the current
external environment. The declining economy puts CMC at a disadvantage which must be addressed in
the best way possible. In light of the latest recall of General Motors automobiles for ignition issues, it is
important that we take action to avoid creating problems for CMC. As the media continues to investigate
the situation and point fingers at CMC the community needs to see a proactive response from us. We must
capitalize on any opportunities for good press as well as making proactive choices to protect CMC from the
decline in the economy, the recalls, and bad publicity.
The decline in the economy has affected our community. While it is believed the worst is behind
us, the future is still uncertain. While CMC produces quality parts, the increased pressure from competitors
has caused additional drops in sales. It seems that our current advertising tactics alone will not be enough
to improve sales figures. These pressures have affected both our employees and our customers.
An article published in early July by CBS Money Watch investigated a few of the reasons why the
economy has still yet to fully recover. Topics covered include stagnant wages, a decrease in median
salaries, and the concerning statistic that wages are growing at only two percent, slightly ahead of inflation.
The article articulates concerns about employment that plague our companys employees. Following the
housing crash of 2008 coupled with stagnant wages and concern over job security, our employees feel
extra vulnerable to the hard times that have fallen our community as well as our nation as a whole.
The recent recalls by General Motors, one of our largest customers, has put a strain on our media
relations. Currently we do not have a proactive approach to the media. Our company has little to no
visibility to the public. Now with the media questioning the recalls of the defective ignition system, that has
parts we supplied, the majority of reports give us a bad reputation. While we do not have any facts to say
our parts were the faulty ones, this situation needs to be tackled with tact and strategy.
Recently several blogs have gained popularity that are attempting to provide information and spark
debate and discussions about CMC. Some blogs come directly from employees. The overall theme of
these blogs are emphasizing negative actions and aspects of CMC. There are also blogs that have started
speculation about negative environmental impacts CMC might be causing. Blogs about CMC have not only
gained popularity with online readers but have been picked up my local and national media for quotes and
stories. Little action has been taken to reach out to these blogs. Left unattended to run rampant, the blogs
could continue to negatively affect stock prices as was already illustrated by the drop in last quarter. The
public needs to see CMC as a proactive organization that cares about the consumer and know we are
committed to finding out the truth.

Organization
The decline in the economy has caused some problems for CMC which are further compounded by
ineffective interdepartmental communication, recalls CMC clients have made, and negative publicity.
Although CMC has historically been a great place to work, tensions within the organization are producing
less than desired working relations for productivity and efficiency.
One of the big problems within CMC is the way information is disseminated to the employees. The
separate departments of the organization do not share information readily and there is little collaboration
amongst them. As a result, employees distrust each other. Poor understanding among high level
management of the need and benefits of interdepartmental communication as well as how this relates to
public relations puts CMC at a serious disadvantage. It is equally important for upper management to
communicate with employees consistently and often so that employees know where they stand within the
company. Failure to communicate with employees undermines CMCs mission. The bottom line for CMC is
make sales, but if the backbone of the organization is not working as effectively and productively as it
could, CMC stands to lose more than sales.
The media and methods that CMC uses to communicate with its employees is outdated. CMC has
a monthly employee publication that not many employees even read because it is not current with the ways
people get information. There are no electronic uses of communication. From time to time, CMC may
furnish a video, but it is not enough. Employees do not have a way to offer suggestions or ask questions.
Moreover, the employees often learn about developments within CMC at the same time as the community,
either on the news, in the newspaper, or through online sources.
Another big problem within CMC is the employees attitudes toward their work, and toward CMC.
The senior leaders who have strong business backgrounds look down upon public/media relations much of
this is due to the poor understanding they have of what PR is and what it does. They also know nothing
about social media and the blogosphere.
The employees of CMC have also taken out their frustration about the company through online
blogs. Many employees have created blogs that ridicule the organization, its activities, and its leaders.
These blogs are harsh and touch upon all the negative aspects and actions of CMC. The blogs are hurting
the stock price of CMC. Policy measures need to be taken to prevent current and future employees from
espousing disparaging commentary while they are employed with CMC.

Among all of these problems, CMC faced problems with its current clientele. Specifically, General
Motors has received heavy media attention because their recent automobile recalls for which CMC has
supplied various parts. Although General Motors has not publicly blamed CMC for the issues, the media
has begun to trace problems back to CMC. Consequently, CMC staff has become uneasy about this
situation which has contributed to low productivity and morale. The sales have steadily declined and
competitors are taking advantage of this caveat by capitalizing on CMCs weaknesses on all fronts.
Since the economy is struggling and the housing market is still weak, employees feel trapped at
CMC. Their wages and benefits are frozen and they feel as if there is no way out. Many employees would
like to sell their homes and move on to different neighborhoods and jobs, but they cannot since housing
prices are so low. They stand to lose their investment. There is also a constant fear of job loss. CMC just
had to lay off many administrative, part-time, and seasonal workers due to declining revenue. The
employees, local media, and community have heard rumors that more jobs might be cut. However,
whatever the issue CMC has to take control and redress them to the benefit the bottom line.
Despite all of these problems with an effective PR plan CMCs bottom line stands to gain more so
than if it continues as is or with inadequate half-measures.
Publics
For the purposes of using resources strategically and effectively targeting the correct publics to
redress issues, it is important to establish a working definition of what constitutes a public. According to
Ronald Smith, professor of communications at Buffalo State College, a public is defined as a group of
people that [share] a common interest vis-a-vis an organization, recognizes its significance, and sets out to
do something about it. By contrast, an audience is defined as merely people who pay attention to a
particular medium of communication and receive messages through it. In creating and implementing a
public relations strategic plan, it is imperative that CMC take a 360 degree approach to communicating with
its most immediate publics, and in consequence, audiences. However, for all practical and intended
purposes, our focus will be on these four most influential categories:
1.

Customers:
1a. Current: Ford, GM, Chrysler, and others

In light of negative media publications, it is important to renew confidence in us as a supplier for


their operations
1b. Potential: other auto industry buyers who need suppliers

To draw in more clients, we need to instill faith and confidence in what we make to expand market
share

2.

Producers:
2a. Management

Engage senior executives/leaders in the public relations process

Boost morale among upper management


2b. Non-management

Engage and build a sense of community at CMC

Boost morale among non-management personnel

2c. Investors

Enhance the confidence in our company and product for their continued investment

Inform and educate investors on the importance of CMC as an investment

2d. Suppliers

Foster positive relationships with current/potential suppliers of raw materials


2e. Bankers/Financiers

3.

Instill confidence among our bankers and financiers for current and future operations of CMC
Enablers:
3a. Mass Media and Trade and Industry Media

Raise community awareness of organizations motives and activities through local media outlets

Provide more informative publications and forums that encourage employees and members of local
community to ask questions

Gain support of regional and national media to build visibility and reputation

Update mass media and trade and industry media on organizations plans for more quality
products

Alert trade and industry media of organizations plans to increase market share
3b. Government

Gain support of local, state and federal government by increasing business to stimulate the local
economy

3c. Community

Interact with people at community events to further educate them on the organizations motives
and activities

Encourage employees to spread positive word-of-mouth to members of community

Inform community of intentions to grow as a business and create more jobs


3d. Bloggers

Provide useful information to bloggers in the community that have written positive blogs about the
progression of the company in the past

Establish frequent communication between senior leaders and highly valuable bloggers to receive
advice and feedback

4. Limiters:
4a. Competitors

Improve traditional and non-traditional advertising and marketing in attempts to mitigate


competition
4b. Opponents

Educate activists on plans to avoid endangering the environment while manufacturing


4c. Bloggers

Redress employees attitudes toward CMC, especially those providing negative publicity

Respond to negative blogs posted by activists, employees, and other members of the community
to address issues
These are the audiences that this PR plan strongly recommends that become the primary focus to

further create, build, and enhance CMCs presence both through high and low level employees, online
media presence, and the local community -- who are the bedrock for the continuity of the organization.
SWOT Analysis
Examining CMC from both positive and negative aspects provides the research process with useful
information to assist in creating a clear understanding of the areas that need significant improvement. In
this section, positive and negative facts of CMC will be discussed by conducting a SWOT analysis
considering strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Strengths:

Strong leader in the auto industry

Business with three major domestic auto brands: GM, Ford, and Chrysler

Fans that maintain supportive blogs who praise the company and spread positive information about
our company

Monthly employee publication

Positive relationships with suppliers

Willingness to create a strategic public relations plan

Cooperation of CMC executives


Weaknesses:

Lack of community knowledge, trust, and loyalty of CMC

Negative publicity by employees

Lack of effective interdepartmental communication

Lack of employee communication

No information regarding General Motors recall

No employee loyalty or trust of CMC

Poor employee morale causing less productivity

Upper management and employees negative perception of media relations

No form of electronic communication with employees


Opportunities:

Working with these supportive and valuable fans that created the blogs discussed above and using
them to our advantage

Creating an employee communication program that can be conducted either online or in person

Updated and enhancement of technology to improve employees participation and communication


between each other and upper management.

Budgeting relationships with mass media and trade/industry media

Gaining the support of local, state and federal government

Improving community relations


Threats:

Strong and wealthy competition

Low number of auto sales

Loss of money from our clients

Declining economy

General Motors recall

Blogs speculating on negative actions

CMCs stock price dropping

Environmental activists opposing CMC

Bad publicity in mass media

Community perception of CMC

Lack of a relationship with traditional media, and trade and industry media

Suggested Further Research


After analyzing the different aspects of CMC, further research would greatly improve our ability to address
relevant issues. The following are the issues that should be monitored in order to improve CMCs overall
performance:

Communication between employees within the company

Technology used to communicate with employees

Senior leader engagement and understanding in the PR process

Relationship with the media

Work environment and how the employees feel about the company

Online blogs, both positive and negative

Public image and perception

Publicity, both positive and negative

Competitors sales environment and advertising/marketing budget

CMCs current clientele recalls and related issues

Economy on a macro and micro level

Customer trends, attitudes, and purchasing habits

Public Opinions

Government perception

Relationship with the community

CMC is currently facing several challenges, but with an effective public relations campaign, the company
can begin to resolve these issues in an efficient and beneficial manner.