While public relations isn’t an exact type of science, of the likes of physics or chemistry, it still needs its own type of strategic process. In order to create a PR campaign and make it effective, there are several key features that PR experts include.
A good PR campaign doesn’t need to be too expensive or too complicated for it to properly communicate with the target audience, and there are a plethora of simple activities that are able to achieve any business objective.
Setting realistic and achievable goals is a key feature of any PR campaign. First, it’s important to think about what and when the campaign hopes to achieve and make sure there’s a clear vision available before commencing with the other features. A public relations campaign can be used to achieve anything from increasing social media presence to increasing brand awareness or even driving more sales.
The key messages are made to make sure the target audience is going to remember the most important aspects of the brand. Essentially, the key messages are simply a description of the competitive advantage a company has over other brands. Aside from that, it’s important to tailor those messages to the target audience and to deliver them through the most relevant media outlets.
The key messages go hand in hand with the target audience as not knowing the target audience and its interests render a campaign unable to create key messages that are going to resonate with the company. When defining the target audience, it’s important to stick to the specifics instead of the generalities as a way to really narrow down the key messages.
The best and the practically only way for a company to stay at the front of an audience’s attention is to remain a relevant force within the industry for as long as possible. This is done both by following the crowd as well as forging a separate path and it’s a very delicate line to walk.
Media program and media releases
It’s not easy to create a comprehensive media plan, but the easiest step to take here is to consider the media outlets that get the most attention from the target audience. Another key element here is the media releases, which should focus on quality over quantity. The media releases can include information on how the company is doing, trends within the industry, launching new products and anything else that is relevant for the audience or the industry.
Knowing the competition
The best way to stay ahead of any competitor is to know everything about them. This can be done by making a list of the biggest threats to the business and noting everything that the competitors are doing — including good and bad steps they’re taking. The successes can be incorporated in a similar manner, while the gaps can always be filled in more successful ways. Learn from the competition and improve campaigns.
How to Create a Memorable PR Campaign
Something that’s always on the mind of PR experts is how to present an audience with a story that’s going to grab their attention for a long time — something that will really make an impression. After all, public relations essentially is all about starting interesting and positive conversations about brands. However, aside from the daily tactics and public relations activities, when it comes to a solid PR campaign, it’s also important to focus on setting up the right narrative that’s really going to connect with a target audience. But before getting to that part, here are the necessary steps to take when creating a memorable PR campaign:
Decide on a goal
When a company decides that they need a PR campaign, the first step is always to think about what the company wants or needs to achieve that campaign. This goal should be specific, realistic and measurable, and should always have the budget in mind before things can get out of hand.
Focus on the audience
The next step is to choose which audience the campaign is going to target, which is done by looking through the different customer profiles for the various demographics that have shown interest in the company. This will help narrow down the campaign and provide insight into what the next steps of the strategy should be.
An example of this can be seen with the World’s Toughest Job campaign from American Greetings where a job ad with the responsibilities of motherhood without the job title had people applying and then realizing what was going on.
Tell the story
After that, it’s important to craft an interesting narrative that’s going to be shared with media publications. However, since media outlets receive hundreds of press releases with each passing day, it’s important to create one that’s going to stand out from the crowd, by making it relevant, interesting and newsworthy.
Once all of those steps have been taken, it’s now time to start pitching the story and the press release behind it to all of those contacts in the media publications. It’s important not to skip this step because as we previously mentioned, the media gets hundreds of press releases, and it’s easy to get lost among the crowd.
Engage the audience
Another way to get the story in front of an audience is to skip the media outlets and head straight for the social media outlets where a brand can share anything themselves. The press release can also be published on the company website, that way, anyone that visits the site will easily find it.
This was perfectly done by IKEA’s Man Lives in IKEA campaign, where a man spent some time living and filming himself inside one of the company’s stores.
Campaigns can last anywhere from one to several months — it’s up to the company and the agency to decide. However, every month, it’s important to see how well things are going with the campaign and readjust anything that doesn’t fit into the main goal that was previously discussed.
A great example here is The Heart Truth campaign that started in 2002 and raises awareness for heart disease in women by having notable women take part in a red dress fashion show.