Innovative executives are low-balling the cadence, density and depth of media coverage potential. They are ending up with sparse coverage, and thus questioning if the PR is worth the investment.

It’s an unfortunate equation that’s unfolding. Executives want media coverage for their breakthroughs and advancements, but ill-conceived campaigns result in a mixed bag of coverage. PR budgets can be eliminated or questioned because of the lack of impact. To be successful, executives need better roadmaps that provide them with context on what to expect. Here are the top four factors to consider:

Start with data on the potential for coverage depth. At the onset of selecting a PR firm, executives often ask about the level of results they can expect. Logic, however, would dictate that even the most seasoned PR professional would struggle to produce a meaningful, durable metric without information. PR strategists need to put together a composite of the potential coverage universe first. Check out my previous blog for more details on how to define real PR metrics. It’s not a question that can be answered without research.

Plan based on the objectives of the campaign. All too often, PR is associated with tactics or outcomes, and not a strategic set of objectives. It’s not uncommon for PR campaigns to focus on media coverage or press releases, instead of the most critical drivers of the business strategy. There is a process for interpreting the business and marketing strategy of a company into PR, social media and owned content outcomes. Tactics can be assigned in context of the campaign potential and the goals of the overarching initiative. For more in-depth analysis of the importance of planning, take a look at our blog on the topic.

Campaigns take different shapes and intensities. An organization seeking consistent growth versus a company being positioned for market domination has different needs in terms of the campaign’s intensity. Positioning for IPO or acquisition, versus organic growth, is a different campaign. A vision of being positioned as a go-to expert versus introducing a radical new approach to a large market segment requires different levels of investment. Campaign programming varies based on objective, urgency and context. Attempting to conquer mindshare and under resourcing it will lead to inefficiency in time and expenditures. One way anthonyBarnum architects programs is through its case study histories. With over a decade worth of information, anthonyBarnum’s campaign leaders have documentation of what thresholds produce certain cadences of results.

Commitment is a key factor. With an objectives-based plan in place, there needs to be commitment to executing it over time. The more leading-edge the innovation, the more frequent and deeper the collaboration with reporters needs to be. PR is known to gain ground and momentum over time based on iterative outreach. It’s important to commit to the predetermined strategy and be willing to stay on track to let the results be optimized. Too many shifts or dramatic turns in strategy can throw a campaign into chaos and leave opportunities on the table.

Many factors go into generating a meaningful external communications strategy. Composites of  potential results can be generated based on research within a series of objectives. With the right alignment of external communications programming, and a committed focus on the plan, companies can achieve more meaningful media coverage at a higher cadence than what they ever expected.