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What is strategy?

By Axia Public Relations

Before you can talk about strategy and have one, you must know how to define it.


A group in a strategic meeting.Most public relations practitioners throw around the word “strategy,” but they don’t really know what it means. This post will help you understand, define, and develop a public relations and corporate communication strategy that stands out from the competition.




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Analyzing some definitions

To make sense of what strategy is, let’s consider some notable definitions. 


According to Blair Enns, strategy is an idea that describes the journey to an advantageous position. The definition highlights the following:


  • A strategy is an idea.
  • The essence of a strategy is to give the owner or user a competitive advantage.
  • A strategy is descriptive and typically takes the form of a plan as it implies a set of steps you might take.  

Thus, a strategy is a brainchild that explains the favorable position you hope to occupy and implies the necessary steps you must take to get there. It’s an idea, conception, or notion, and that’s what differentiates a strategy from a tactic. Tactics are the tools and action items of a plan.


Another noteworthy definition of strategy comes from Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter. According to this definition, strategy is simply the answer to the question, “How are we going to become and remain unique?”


Strategy is composed of two significant elements: focus and perspective.

  • Focus
  • Perspective

The element of focus deals with the business’ strategic insights because it helps determine what the brand needs help with and areas in which it can improve. Specifically, the element of focus asks the following questions:

  1. What sort of business problems are you going to solve, and who will benefit from the solutions you offer? 
  2. What are the treasure troves in the marketplace that will get the most of your company’s resources? This particular question hints at the soul of focus: sacrifice. If you must lock in on a particular target, you must forgo others.

The element of perspective looks at the angle from which the company’s problems and solutions will be viewed.


Core elements of a strategy

After assessing these definitions, some elements are obvious. Therefore, any effort to define what a strategy is must touch the following:

  • A strategy is an idea.
  • Its essence is to move the user or owner to a favorable position.
  • It describes a number of steps that should be taken to get to the desired position.
  • Strategy emphasizes focus.
  • It involves the perspective of observing problems and solutions.  

If you need help developing your public relations strategy, we have a strategic package available with five programs to help you launch your company’s unique public relations strategy and messaging.


Get your target analysis template for public relations today!


Photo by fauxels from Pexels

Topics: PR planning

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