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How to plan and carry out a successful PR campaign

by Staff writer
21 Mar 2021 at 19:34hrs | Views
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Public relations is one of the most important aspects of running a business. It's also important for celebrities, influencers, and other key people that are always under the eyes of the watchful public. With the right PR, companies and public individuals alike can experience tremendous growth and support from the masses.

Public relations isn't just about doing good things under the lens of the camera. In truth, there are a lot of practices and techniques that can make or break a PR campaign. It's not enough to charge into public relations head-on as you really need a sound plan and strategy to make sure that you are doing the right thing.

You know that a PR campaign is failing once the public notices what your intentions actually are. The most successful PR campaigns are those that are executed with subtlety. People should see the intent of the company or the public figure to do good. It shouldn't be on the fact that there's just a PR ploy in the works.

If you are hoping to run a PR campaign, then it's a must that you prepare for the journey ahead. The path to a good campaign is filled with a lot of careful planning and sound strategies. Here's how you can plan and then carry out a successful PR campaign.

Define Long-Term Goals

A good public relations campaign is not just giving the person or the company in question a good reputation. It can be used for many other purposes which is why it's important that you define your goals at the very start of the campaign planning process.

With a clear goal in mind, you'll be able to find the perfect approach to the campaign by analyzing your goal.

How do you define your goals anyway?

You need to answer a few key questions first. Is your client trying to recover from bad publicity? Are you hoping to increase brand awareness through the PR campaign? Are you looking to grow your customer base? By answering questions like these, you'll be able to see exactly what you want to achieve with your campaign.

Once you've answered the questions and have an idea of what your goals are, then it's time to find your clear goals. Clear goals are basically the results you want to achieve from the campaign. These are best answered using the SMART method which is an acronym for - Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based.

-    Specific - This is the goal that's defined as the ideal outcome that you want to create using the campaign. It's basically the main goal of the PR campaign and it usually involves factoring in specific figures.

-   Measurable - These are a means through which you can measure the success of your campaign. This is important as it helps you understand whether or not you've made significant progress.

-   Achievable -You need to understand that your PR campaign is going to be restricted by various factors such as resources, budget, and time. This will help you understand whether or not you are setting the goals too high.

  Realistic - While you know your limits, it's also important that you begin setting goals that are realistic. For your PR campaign, are you sure that the goal you have in mind is possible? If it's not, then you may want to reconsider your endgame.

-   Time-based - Time is the biggest factor that can affect your goal. PR campaigns generally last for weeks or even a few months. Those that last for a year or so are bad campaigns.

Goal-setting is an important part of the strategy to create a successful PR campaign. Without a goal, you'll be blindly going about with your campaign. Always keep in mind that it is far from giving the client good publicity. It's also about getting effective and measurable results along the way.

Narrow Down The Target Audience

It's always bad practice to never narrow down your target when it comes to marketing or business. That goes the same for public relations. Your target market will define your approach for the PR campaign. They are also the people you are aiming to please so it is a must that you understand who you are trying to reach out to.

At the very base of your target market are the demographics that easily allow you to lessen the people you are targeting. Here, you'll define age, gender, ethnicity, job, location, and many more. When narrowing down your target audience, it is important that you be as specific as possible. The more specific you are, the more effective of an approach you'll be able to make.

Once you narrow down your target audience, it's time you begin asking deeper questions. The first is knowing what kind of message you want to send your target audience. You should also know which media platforms you want to reach out to them too.

The heart and soul of your PR campaign aren't the client. It's actually the people you are reaching out to. They are the people who you'll get the results from so it is a must that you be more detailed and industrious when it comes to learning more about your audience.

Research, Research, And More Research

Now comes one of the most tiring, albeit most important parts of your PR campaign - researching. Without the right data, you'll find it hard to create a good strategy which is why diving deep into researching and planning opportunities is a must.

One way to conduct research is to check for previous similar cases like your campaigns. You can also check for case studies which let you understand the market or your audience more. You can find really helpful data through the results of these studies and they can help you formulate a more effective strategy. You should keep an eye out for campaigns that are similar to the one you are thinking of. You'll at least know what to do and what not to do for your rendition of it.

There are many aspects of the campaign that you should research about. The first is figuring out which media platforms are going to be best used for the campaign. For this, you need to factor in your audience and ask questions like what media platforms they frequently use and try to focus on creating a campaign that's best suited for it.

Don't limit yourself to social media platforms though. There are many other ways through which you can get your message to the public. The most common options include press releases, articles, interviews, speaking engagements, event sponsorship, radio, television, and podcast appearances, just to name a few.

As you can see, there are more ways than one to reach out to people. It's why it's highly imperative that you do your due research first. It's not practical to reach out to people using all platforms as some are more effective depending on your target audience.

Find Contacts

While doing your research about which media platforms to focus on, it's important that you begin making the right contacts along the way. Your media contacts are going to make the PR campaign easier as they can help you organize your plans much better.

Media contacts include event organizers, website owners, magazine editors, and basically just about anyone that can help you organize your events and PR practices.

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When finding the right media contact, it's important that you show them why you are worth partnering with. What are they going to get from your PR campaign? It should be just as beneficial for them as it is for you. They are going to take out their resources for you so it is only right that they get something in return.

The media contacts you get are indispensable. They'll be with you for as long as you want to. The world of PR is all about making great connections. As early as possible, it's important that you establish contact with the right people.

Scheduling The PR Campaign

Now that you have a target audience, an approach, preferred media platforms, and media partners, now come the fun part - launching the campaign itself.

When launching a media campaign, it's a must that you first set a schedule. Ideally, your schedule needs to show what date the campaign starts, what dates the events, press releases, and other media materials are going to launch on, and most importantly, the date in which the campaign ends.

This is an important part of the process as it also helps you finally set a proper budget for your campaign instead of estimates. While schedules can be adjusted to your liking, it's not always that you can adjust your budget to your needs.

As a general rule of thumb, it is a must that you become very flexible when it comes to scheduling. You need to factor in various possible factors such as weather conditions that could result in event cancellations. It's best to schedule events far apart from each other so that there's always room to adjust.

As we've said, the campaign should last for a few months only. PR campaigns that last for a year and more are not only costly, they are also impractical. It also becomes harder to keep track of the progress. As for the target audience, it's often harder for them to understand the message of the campaign the longer it is drawn out.

Measuring Results, Adjusting Accordingly
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As the campaign goes on, you should conduct regular data analytics to measure the progress that you are making. It's not ideal to measure results only at the end of the campaign. If you want to make your campaign more effective, you need to be flexible and dynamic.

You should always measure results at least a week or two once you release a part of the PR campaign. Some of the results you need to track include lead acquisition, conversion, sales numbers, media inquiries, new product orders, and even attendance numbers during your large gatherings or events.

Most importantly, you should also always check for changes in social sentiment. The social sentiment is basically how the public views the company or the personality the campaign is for. The main purpose of the PR campaign is to put the client in a good light after all so social sentiment is a good metric to check out.

There are many tools that can help you gather the results that you want to see. Ideally, you'd want to use analytics software that can help you get the numbers and organize the results as easily as possible. You should do away with traditional manual data-keeping as it's no longer practical and is not as accurate as of the results you can get from the solutions we are referring to.

If you feel that you aren't getting the results you want to achieve, then don't lose hope immediately and then go on to upend your campaign entirely. You should look for minor adjustments and tweaks you can make to make the campaign more effective.

Again, the key here is to not go over budget. Having to redo your entire campaign mid-way can result in heavier expenses. PR campaigns are usually a slow-burner. You might not be getting the results you have now but you might notice that as the weeks go by, the numbers are becoming better and better so it's best to stay patient in most cases.

After the campaign period, it's best to compare your final data with the data that you start with. This will help you understand how effective the campaign was. If ever you are planning a second run, you'll at least have an idea of how much you should change the campaign to make it more effective.

As you can see, planning a successful PR campaign is a long and tiring process. When done correctly, however, the results are staggering. It's true that any form of publicity is good publicity but you shouldn't abuse that mantra. You should only aim for positive publicity which you can actually achieve through a well-thought-out PR campaign.

Source - Byo24News