What is strategy?

Agony uncle and University of Westminster's visiting professor of PR Trevor Morris gives it to you straight

Trevor Morris: PRWeek's agony uncle
Trevor Morris: PRWeek's agony uncle

My line manager never stops saying we need to be strategic. But what does strategy mean?

A strategy is a plan. A plan of how to achieve objectives. Tactics are the things you do to implement the plan. So being ‘strategic’ simply means having a plan.

Someone once told me they had a "strategic strategy". In other words they had a plan plan.

Strategy is the most overused word in the business lexicon. People who use the word constantly, and those who refer to themselves as very strategic, are generally not be trusted.

The most common usage of the word strategic is when a boss or client says: "My PR people are not very strategic." By which they mean, my PR people don’t understand the organisation’s bigger picture and just talk about "getting coverage".

At the end of the day there are effective strategies, ineffective strategies and a total absence of strategy. That is it.

Got a problem? Contact Trevor at agonyuncle@haymarket.com

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