Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chapter 10: Timelines and Budgets

This week blog will be covering chapter 10:

Timelines and Budgets

This chapter has covered all the necessary knowledge about timelines and budgets, however, I will not be discussing more about timelines, as being a PR practitioner, we are all supposed to work within the given deadline. Hence, I will be covering more on budgeting.


Well, first of all the fact about budgeting is most organizations don’t use budgets to help them meet their profit goals. According to those organizations, the effort that is required to build and use workable budgets is just too much. They feel that learning how to budget is more frustrating.

However, that’s a mistake to ever think that way. Do you ever notice that a company that is used to budgeting is likely to meet their profit targets and avoid costly surprises? Because they have estimated of expenditure needed before going straight to do the task.

Well, now the same thing happens in the PR world. In PR, they do have budgeting and financial planning. According to the reading, a budget is defined as a periodic estimate of expenditure or, more simply, the amount of money needed for spending on a specific, object or task. In PR, budgeting is used for a media campaign between an agent and a client. It is also said that budgeting is not something to be taken lightly, despite the general feeling of dread it may invoke in those less numerate.

After looking through the importance of budgeting mentioned earlier, its clearly meant that budgeting is vital in PR world. Hence, still according to the reading, a good starting point in working up a proper budget is to add up all the tangible elements such as venue, computer technology, refreshments and prose material. But, how to manage the budget once we’ve known the estimated budget needed to do a task? Simple, you just need to discuss it with your client before the preparation., about the cost of the activities involved and the potential success if the results to avoid overspending on unnecessary items.

Therefore, here are some important steps according to Richard Stanton on how to develop your client budget.

First one would be setting up a workshop that involves the client’s marketing staff and its marketing agencies, such as its advertising and media buying agency to review business and marketing objectives for the coming year. The objective of that is to make sure that the company could plan its strategy and weight activities and budget according to the marketing priorities.

The second one which is also the last step would be getting all the team members and senior management involved in brainstorming method that helps to generate original and newsworthy ideas that can be filtered and costed to a certain limit of the allocated budgets.

So, to conclude all these, every major company in the world including PR company should get used to budgeting - and you can bet that there will be a good reason for that. So the next time you think about budgeting, follow these 2 steps and your income statement will be more informative and your stress level a good deal lower.

So, basically here are what I got for this week posts.

Have a nice day!


  1. Hi Indah thanks for the info about budgeting. When I think about budget I always think of one's willingness to spend certain of money and others (the equipment used, PR, marketing, etc) should follow the estimated budget. But now I understand that there is actually a need to count and revise the marketing objectives first so that the budget is planned according to the planned activities, and does not fall or exceed much from the estimated budget.

    However, it's also a good idea to plan the budget slightly more than what is expected to prevent unwanted situation. I also think that budgeting is not simply adding up tangible resources as according to one management book, the intangible resources (such as knowledge and effort of the people involved in a campaign) is actually more important than physical assets.

  2. It is true that budget is one of the most important step in controlling an organization as it provides definite expectations and determines the route of an organization's future. However, having a budget can also limit an organization's business activities which may result in less desired outcomes. Especially when budgets are normally associated with compromising quality and customer service. Also, with budgets comes greater pressure to meet a certain expectation/criteria by the organization which may result in bad labor relations.

    Nadia mentioned about how planning a slightly higher budget for an organization is a good idea as it can prevent unwanted situation (in that sense, I think she meant exceeding budgets). However, in my opinion, that defeats the main purpose of having a budget - to ensure that an organization follows through a fixed plan.

  3. Hi Indah, thank you for your information about budgeting; it is very useful for us. Of course, besides strategies, tactics, or avoiding crisis, budgeting is also play an important role in PR. Moreover, PR practitioners should submit the budgeting with a reasonable, reliable and achievable cost. Hence, they can convince client in their PR plan and get satisfy result. Indah has mentioned about two steps of budgeting that is very informative. However, PR practitioners need to identify the objective of activities, program, channel, and the audience so they will be easier to estimate realistic budget.

    In the order hand, a perfect budget plan should inform the potential problem, strategy, objective, media and message. Those activities may make the expenditure exceed to the budget plan, yes it may happen but PR’s role is to reduce that unexpected position. Once again, PR practitioners want to convince and make client understand, they should avoid those technical jargons during the process.

  4. Hi indah sorry for the late comment!
    Well, of course we all know that budgeting is one of the most critical thing we have to take into account for every of our PR task. It is to be taken seriously. Without a budget, if we really (like what Nadia said), meet an unwanted situation such as exceeding the amount, it will ruin everything, cause we know that most of organizations are not willing to pay high cost. I agree with Nur that budgeting means controlling the organization to follow the fixed plan. It is necessary to make everything run smooth and successful, and as a professional PR practitioner, we have to apply that in achieving our task! Thanks :)

  5. Hi to reply to Cindy and Yanti, what I meant by 'unwanted situation' is that unpredictable accident that can consume some money. So for me budget must be flexible, like what Yanti said, sometimes setting a budget can limit marketing activities. For example, there is a fire or something, but by putting slighlty more money in our budgeting, company have money aside to pay for any damages without affecting their other business activites.