Implementation of the PR Program
Once the PR program has been prepared in outline, its contents
must be approved by the project's management. The program should
also be a distinct item in the project budget, and receive corresponding
approval. However, the question will arise as to where the activity
will best fit into the project organization.æ Depending on the type,
size and duration of the project it may well be that the PR activity
should be set up as a separate function within the project directorate
of the sponsoring organization. Since high visibility is involved,
this will best serve the sponsoring organization's goals.
It should be emphasized, however, that the project PR program should
not simply be just an added responsibility of an existing department,
because the project priorities and time frame will be quite different,
and specific project requirements may be overlooked.
Project #1: LNG
In the LNG and Transit projects, the PR functions were responsible
directly to the sponsors themselves and therefore in a staff relationship
to the project manager. No doubt this choice was made because the
function was seen as being very sensitive. Notwithstanding, in both
cases the project manager had good input and received good advice.
In retrospect it would probably have been better to have the PR
Department reporting directly to the project manager in both cases.
Project #2: ALRT
In the Transit project, the PR function was also responsible directly
to the sponsors, and the total PR effort was generally supported
by a staff of 8 people peaking at about 13. Individuals were selected
either for their writing ability, or their ability to handle community
services, exhibitions and so on. All worked as a closely knit team
drawing on their various personal strengths. The writers had to
be capable of producing fast clear media style text and generally
had a journalistic background. The remainder were project trained
to stand on a platform to be ready with information and to man the
exhibitions. Some were selected for their suitability as General
Including outside brochure art work, printing, demonstration models
and so on, the total cost of the PR effort amounted to approximately
0.6% of the total project budget.
Project #3: Expo 86
The Expo project was set up as a provincial Crown corporation,
and the marketing and communications divisions were therefore both
part of the project organization. However, because of the overlapping
impact of the two divisions it is difficult to separate out the
effective cost of each. The communications effort on its own is
probably of the order of 0.4% of the project cost.