Picture this: You’ve walked into a business meeting, but there was no door at the entryway. There were only three chairs, instead of the five needed to seat everyone at the conference table. What’s the point of having a meeting, if it isn’t going to be executed in a way that supports the conversation?
Public relations campaigns are similar. If you have two out of the three tactics finalized, you’re still missing one more – and it could be the most vital of all. PR campaigns need to be completed in a programmatic, package-like fashion – everything tied together neatly between the goals, strategy and end results.
Here are a few strategies to implement and execute a successful and effective PR campaign:
1. Clearly define specific goals. By starting a campaign with a specific goal in mind, companies can take that goal, digest it, and strategize specific steps to reach and measure the success of the campaign. It isn’t rare for a PR firm to receive goals from their clients along the lines of ‘more press coverage in top-tier publications.’
While yes, that is a great goal, it isn’t specific enough. PR needs to be able to answer the questions like: Who cares about this? Why should they care? What influence or impact will this have on the target audience? Remember, goals should always be very specific, measurable, realistic and internally driven – meaning that the marketing team is in agreement on what is best for the business.
2. Create and implement a campaign strategy. Issuing and distributing press release after press release hoping to gain media traction and attention isn’t going to work. Instead, exact steps need to be defined in order to reach the desired outcome. Here at aB, we create Project Management Grids – detailed with dates, next steps, and even sub-steps to ensure that the campaign stays on track according to the predetermined set of goals.
3. Measure and tweak. At the end of every campaign, it’s crucial to look back and evaluate the ROI of the campaign in terms of the outlined goal. Now, more than ever, PR must justify its worth to fight the stigma of having no real measure in the corporate marketing mix.
By assessing the quality of placed content, the cadence and frequency, the monetary savings and efficiency of repurposing content and more, companies cannot only experience the win of earned media, but the larger ROI of it integrated into marketing. It’s critical, then, to define the successful tactics, and re-execute and define the unsuccessful tactics, and either alter the delivery and execution, or get rid of it all together.
Public relations campaigns are not a one-size-fits-all. Each business or organization has a vision and set of unique business needs that will demand a customized, tailored approach.