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What’s the difference between a PR strategy and a PR tactic?

By Marjorie Comer

24809489_s.jpgWhy you need both for successful PR campaigns


As a public relations professional, do you know the difference between strategies and tactics? Just like how many people incorrectly interchange the terms goals and objectives, they also confuse strategies and tactics. Everyone should understand and recognize the distinction between these important business terms.

Creating a strategy comes after setting goals and creating your objectives. Having strategies and tactics in place are integral to a company’s business plan, and they also play a role in successful public relations.  


Developing a clear idea of your business strategy and tactics is essential in staying focused and in reaching your company goals.



A strategy is the approach of an overall plan. It is often the hardest to determine. Your company’s strategy is the overarching way you intend to accomplish your objectives.



The tactics are the tools or the action items of the plan. They are the means used to gain an objective. A tactic is sometimes referred to as a strategy on wheels.




Planning Doing
Thinking Action
Large scale Small scale
High level Low level
Why How
Difficult to copy Easy to copy
Long time frame Short time frame

Table inspired by Wheelchaircurler


Goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics are all basic ingredients of a great PR plan. Keep in mind that a strategy must come before you can discuss tactics. Without a great strategy, there are no tactics.


Ensuring you know the differences between these keywords can assist you in creating a successful PR campaign for your company. Axia Public Relations can help you develop a clear, focused method for maximizing your PR efforts that will improve your reputation and grow your brand. Download Axia’s guide Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment to learn more about how to make your business thrive through PR.


Editor's Note: This article was revised in July 2020.

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marjorie-comer-axia-pr.jpgMarjorie Comer is an award-winning PR professional. She graduated from Rockhurst University with a Bachelor of Arts in communication and loves to cheer for her hometown Kansas City Royals. Marjorie has worked for Axia Public Relations since October 2011. Learn more about Marjorie Comer. Follow her on Twitter @Marjorie_Comer or tell us what you think in the comments below.



Featured image credit: 123rf.com

Topics: public relations, reputation management

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