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This innovative and popular text provides a clear pathway to developing public relations campaigns and other types of strategic communication. Implementing the pragmatic, in-depth approach of the previous editions, author Ronald D. Smith presents a step-by-step unfolding of the strategic campaign process used in public relations practice. Drawing from his experience in professional practice and in the classroom, Smith walks readers through the critical steps for the formative research, strategic and tactical planning, and plan evaluation phases of the process. Offering clear explanations, relevant examples, and practical exercises, this text identifies and discusses the decision points and options in the development of a communication program. The cases and examples included here explore classic real-world public relations situations as well as current, timely events. This fourth edition highlights the results of new research studies on opinions and practices within the discipline, and adds overviews of several award-winning public relations campaigns. As a classroom text or a resource for professional practice, this volume provides a model that can be adapted to fit specific circumstances and used to improve effectiveness and creativity in communication planning. It serves as an accessible and understandable guide to field-tested procedures, offering practical insights that apply to public relations campaigns and case studies coursework.