Writing Quality Tactics

Article 2 min
Understand what a tactic is and how to write tactics that align and support the overall strategy.

Once your strategy is established you can identify the tactics you will need to implement the strategy. Strategies and tactics go hand in hand; your strategy gives you the path you need to get to your goal, while tactics are the concrete action steps you'll take along the way. Tactics are your tools, tasks and resources that allow you to implement your strategies.

The strategy is planning; tactics are doing.

When writing out your tactics, remember that they must be:

  • Specific to the strategy
  • Actionable
  • Tangible

You should consider what type of change you want to see in the public as an outcome. Use the graphic below to narrow down the type of tactic depending on if your desired outcome is a change in knowledge, attitude or behavior.

Change knowledge through education, change attitude by explaining how and change behavior through person to person communications.
Knowing how you will achieve that change in your key publics is an important part of understanding how to write a tactic.
VIRIN: 200825-D-ZW071-0001

The following table provides some types of tactics and the tools you may use to advance your strategy. Tools will vary depending on your strategy, resources and the desired outcome.

List of tactic types and helpful tools
Types of Tactics Tools you might use
Internal Communications
  • Publications
  • Annual Reports
  • Newsletters
  • Posters
  • Meetings
  • Email
  • Intranet
  • Training
Social Media
  • Hashtags
  • Facebook
  • IGTV
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Conferences
  • Debates
  • Events
  • Speakers
  • Town Halls
  • Tours
  • Special Events
  • Video Conferences
  • Webcasts

Real-World Example

Let's look at some tactics in the context of a big birthday for the U.S. Army.


Educate soldiers and their families about the 245th birthday of the Army using media tactics to establish camaraderie with Army traditions.


  1. Send a media advisory to large broadcast and cable networks to interview the Chief of Staff of the Army about the birthday.
  2. Create a series of eight two-minute videos for timed distribution on all social media platforms and DVIDS of Army veterans telling their stories and experiences about serving in the Army.
    Ensure the video subjects are diverse and can tell compelling stories; check their backgrounds before using them in videos.
  3. Create twenty fifteen-second videos of "Army children" wishing the Army a happy birthday for distribution on Instagram and Instagram stories.
  4. Coordinate with the Office of the Chief of Public Affairs-West (L.A.) to utilize connections with celebrities to create videos and vignettes of them wishing the Army a happy birthday.

What makes these tactics good?

They're specific to the strategy. The strategy is to focus on the families; each tactic incorporates soldier and family involvement.

They're actionable. Each one of these tactics has a path forward. Obviously, there are details that need to be hammered out, but the mandate is clear.

They're tangible. While the strategy itself is intangible, each one of these tactics has a defined outcome.

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