Communications PlanningBy Gini Dietrich

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Benson Hendrix online.

A communicator, professor, and social media strategist for TEDxABQ, Benson is one of the guys in the industry who does his job without spin and makes everyone else look good.

He has been called everything from a “social media zen warrior” to the “‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper of Public Relations,” and from a “behind the scenes powerbroker,” to “the loudmouth PR love child of Henry Rollins and Anthony Bourdain,” but doesn’t really believe any of it (except maybe the “Rowdy” Roddy Piper part).

This is one of the things I adore about him: He’s humble as all get out. He probably would hate me saying this, but it’s my blog so I’m going to do it anyway!

He’s a giant teddy bear (who wears a cowboy hat). Super smart, very funny, and extremely lovable.

When our mutual friend Ann Marie van den Hurk was in Albuquerque a couple of years ago, she told the story of meeting Benson.

Not only did he meet her at the airport, he showed her around town for the couple of days she was there.

I remember thinking, “Wow. That is super impressive, especially for someone you only know online.”

Well, now you have the opportunity to get to know Benson.

He is hosting our November webinar this Thursday so you get to hang out with him for an hour.

Communications Planning

Strategy 101: Planning for Success is for every communicator who needs to create a plan for next year, but has no idea where to start. It’s for every communicator who jumps straight into tactics and doesn’t do research, planning, or evaluation. It’s for every communicator who wants to show their boss or client how smart they are going into 2015.

Even though it has a “101” in the title, it’s for nearly every communicator who has less than 20 years of experience.

Benson starts out by talking through the four-step process of communications planning and managing by objectives.

He talks about how we tend to want to rush to the tactical side because that’s the most fun, but that you should consider the following first:

  • Questions you should be asking your client or boss before you begin communications planning
  • The four things good PR plans look to achieve
  • What you really should include in a SWOT analysis and how to determine what should be internal vs. external

Then he breaks down each of the four steps.

Here is what you can expect to learn during each section.


  • How to get excited about the research phase of communications planning
  • The questions you want to tackle with your research
  • Answer the question, “Should research be formal or informal?”
  • Things to consider during the research phase
  • How to do a communication audit and what should be included


  • How to do SMART planning (versus being a smart aleck)
  • What each step in SMART means, as it relates to communications planning, not business planning
  • How to manage by objective
  • What the differences are between goals and objectives…and why you need both
  • What good objectives include


  • How to develop your strategy in a non-scary way that makes it easy to understand what that means
  • How to develop your tactics that are driven by the strategy
  • Why it’s important to tweak and improve


  • How to develop your evaluation phase
  • How to use all of these steps to wash, rinse, and repeat for the following year

Webinar Details

The webinar is this Thursday, November 13, at noon ET (that’s 11 a.m. CT, 10 a.m. MT, and 9 a.m. PT, for those of you who can’t do time zones).

It is free and it’s a two-step process.

First, go to Spin Sucks Pro and click the blue “purchase” button at the bottom of the page.

Click “checkout.”

Either create a new account or login to your account.

Click “download purchase” and click the link on the confirmation page (you’ll also receive an email with this information).

Register for the webinar on that page and you’ll be good to go!

Learn and Have Fun

He ends by showing you how to put everything together. He provides great examples and case studies.

He’ll even make you laugh. My favorite quote?

The other business tool I respect and admire…Donald Trump (click to tweet).

Hope to see you on Thursday!

photo credit: Shutterstock

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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