For many brands, creating an effective public relations campaign is crucial to increasing their visibility and reaching their target market. Content and execution are two critical factors in ensuring that your PR campaign doesn’t flop or backfire completely.
Here are some simple, yet fundamental tips to keep in mind when crafting your PR campaigns to help boost its effectiveness.
1. Know your “why”
Before you even begin brainstorming it’s important to understand what you’re hoping to achieve for your brand. In other words, what’s the purpose of the overall campaign? To drive sales, increase awareness or counteract bad press? A campaign that doesn’t have a clear purpose can be confusing for both you and your audience.
Get daily business news.
The latest stories, funding information, and expert advice. Free to sign up.
2. Target the right audience
Spend some time researching potential media outlets and only contact them with content that is appropriate and matches their audience and tone. This might mean having to create multiple pieces of content (e.g. press releases, content marketing articles, creative media kits, etc) to target different types of media. Spamming everyone on your contacts list with irrelevant content can potentially damage your working relationship with them and is not an effective way of gaining coverage.
Also be mindful that not all coverage is equal or even effective for reaching your target audience. Your content may be published, but if it’s not reaching the key audience or communicating the right message, you haven’t really achieved the purpose of your campaign.
3. Make it easy to interact with
The best campaigns are ones that your audience can interact with. Shareable online content and competitions are great examples of ways to make your content noticeable and leave a lasting impression with your audience. However, ensure that your content is easy to interact with and avoid complicated steps and confusing or misleading information.
4. Link it back to your brand
While it’s important to create content that people enjoy and want to share, make sure that the message doesn’t get lost. You want your audience to clearly make a connection between your brand and that funny or informative article they just shared with their friends.
5. But don’t make it all about your brand
On the flip side, you don’t want your content to be too much of a shameless plug for your brand. Your content still needs to be topical and offer something to the reader beyond a thinly veiled advertisement for your brand. Makeup vloggers on YouTube are a great example of balancing the needs of a brand with developing interesting content for the audience. Makeup vloggers create in-demand tutorials that demonstrate products while also providing the viewers with an entertaining and informative experience that they can interact with.
6. Check every angle
While you may have the best intentions at heart, sometimes an idea can be misconstrued or have multiple meanings. To avoid potentially offending your audience, try to get as many varied perspectives as you can and undertake some research to minimise the chances or your PR campaign gaining attention for all the wrong reasons. For international campaigns this is even more crucial as there are many phrases, symbols and metaphors that do not translate as effectively or have an entirely different meaning altogether.
7. Decide how you will measure effectiveness
Before you begin sending press releases, first think about how you will measure the success of your PR campaign. By the number of press hit, the total audience reached, or increased traffic to your website? It’s usually a good idea to have a number of different KPIs that you can track that link back to your original goals (e.g. drive sales, increase awareness, etc).
8. Keep on top of opportunities
While it’s important to be proactive in your communication strategies, it’s good to remember that many PR opportunities are reactive. Try to stay on top of current media trends and news stories that relate to your brand as they can provide a great platform to leverage coverage for you brand. Also be mindful of the lead times different publications have. For example, many monthly magazines work three months in advance, whereas daily newspapers and online publications have much shorter lead times. Keep this in mind for any content that is time-frame sensitive (e.g. seasonal campaigns, special event/holiday campaigns).
Adrian Falk is the director of Believe Advertising. He has been generating national and international press coverage for clients for 13 years.