The RACE Formula

So what can our clients expect when we collaborate on a project?

Isn’t working with creative types sort of like herding cats? Not these cats.

Early in our careers, we got involved with the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) and learned to structure our projects following the RACE Formula. The RACE Formula (Research Analysis Communication Evaluation ) helps us develop a plan that is evidence-based, and provides accountability for management, the holders of the purse strings. It has a built-in mechanism to seek feedback, and improve the next go-round.

Here’s how it works:

Researchillustration of microscope
What conditions surround this project? What is the problem that needs to be solved? What strengths and weaknesses do we face? What are the challenges? How do others face these challenges? What best practices do we see? Who are the audiences and what are their needs? What makes them unique?

Analysis
What does the research mean? A clear, defined assessment of the challenge at hand will direct our creative energy to a fruitful solution. This will inform the stated goals and objectives.

Communication
illustration of a lightbulbThis is the stage we love – where we get to put all our experience and creativity to work, to come up with a solution and create something special for our clients. The synthesis of the problem often becomes clear while chatting, walking, playing music, or daydreaming, and a solution becomes clear.

Illustration produced for CPRS Pinnacle Awards

The communication can take the form of a print piece, a website, or an advertisement. Often there are many ways of delivering a message to nudge change. Our fluency with digital and analogue technology guarantees the efforts are coordinated and cost-effective.

Evaluation
Not as much fun, but necessary. This is where we ask the users, viewers, receivers about their experience and how well they are served. It can take the form of an online survey or reply cards. The feedback we receive focuses our next efforts.

The RACE Formula. We’ve found it focuses, adds to the project and serves our clients well. It helps us document our plans and process when it’s time to submit our work for an award.

The Canadian Public Relations Society gives Pinnacle Awards for communication. Projects are strictly adjudicated by a team of communication specialists from outside our community. And yes, we have been fortunate to have our work recognized with Pinnacle Awards.

So when we start a new project, we keep the possibility of a Pinnacle Award in mind. And the RACE formula is how we begin.