LIFESTYLE – 7 Dos and Don’ts for a Successful PR Campaign
Focus is the name of the game for any PR campaign to be a real success.This article will explore the dos and don’ts for anyone starting their own campaign or seeking the help and guidance of a professional agency. Whether you’re an online business or an actor seeking exposure, this post will set you on the right path to gaining the publicity you need, tailored to the right audience.
Don’t start without research
Before you contact anyone or write anything, you and your colleagues must come to a consensus on your overall goal. This is important to stay focused and will enable you to keep track of how well your strategies are performing and where things need to be changed.
Different goals may include boosting sales, improving an individual or brand’s reputation, and increasing market share.
Set yourself achievable goals and write them down – they can be really great motivational tools for you and your team. It’s important to always know what your aims are and have a realistic timeframe in which you expect them to be achieved.
Do create a plan of action and get professional help
A robust plan is integral to any successful PR campaign. You need to get the balance right between meeting your business objectives and catering to your audience. Everything needs to flow well together.
The planning element of PR can take some serious legwork and may prove very difficult if you have little experience and no connections. Hiring a professional PR service can help you meet your objectives and provide support from the campaign planning stage, right through to the execution. It’s always good to have a team on hand to take some of the workload off you or coach you through the process.
Do know your target audience
Understanding your target audience is important for campaigns across a range of verticals, from ecommerce to show business. You need to consider who you are trying to inform, persuade and impress. Do you want to gain new viewers in a particular industry or demographic? Does your brand have an online presence that you’d like to make use of? Are you trying to gain exposure and recognition for your work to help you land future acting roles?
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Who is your target audience? Where do they live? How old are they? What are their hobbies?
- Where do they spend their time online?
- What are their buying habits?
- What websites and social media networks do they use?
With this information, you can create a customer persona. This is the best way for you to begin targeted PR and marketing campaigns that will engage with the right people.
For more guidance on how to research your target audience, take a look at this guide.
Don’t start work without defining a budget
It’s best practice to have a figure in mind before embarking on a campaign or signing up for professional help. Doing research will help with this. How much have you paid for similar work in the past? What do agencies usually charge for the services you require? With this well-informed figure, you can negotiate to find a rate that suits you and your needs, rather than letting costs get out of hand.
If your budget is tight or you don’t have time to set up a whole PR campaign, there are ways that you can get free press coverage to showcase your brand with zero budget required. These methods will form part of your digital marketing mix and involve using bloggers and influencers to gain exposure. Take a look at this article for information on how to hack the press.
Do be careful with where you send press releases
Journalists will often jump at any press release that you throw their way or make their need public on a service like HARO — but only if the story is worth telling and sharing. Submitting something that is noteworthy and impactful is a sure-fire way to get your press release picked up and published, but who should you send it to? Do a little research into who you should send it to, what publications they work for, and who they are connected to. Looking at their portfolio of work and social media handles can also prove useful, so you can make sure they have experience of writing in your industry vertical. Following up correspondence with phone calls to ensure that they received your press release and to get a formal date of publication is also a good idea. This will help you keep your campaign on schedule.
If you use a professional PR service, chances are they will be able to pull some strings with already established connections, which can make the process far smoother.
Don’t forget to showcase your brand’s story
Brand storytelling has become very popular as part of the marketing mix for brands online and offline. From a young age we love listening to stories, and as we get older we continue to enjoy tales and anecdotes. Brand storytelling can play a very important role in making a brand or individual stand out from the crowd and develop a positive reputation.
Are there any particular elements of your personality (or the personality of the brand) that you’d like to highlight? Make these clear during the planning stages of your campaign and bring them to the attention of any external agency you might be using. Don’t be afraid of letting your personality show through – this will give your target audience more material to engage with.
A great way to do this, particularly in show business, would be to create video content for YouTube that really shows off your uniqueness. This can act as a press release in itself. Take a look at these brilliant examples of cinematic brand storytelling for more inspiration.
These dos and don’ts of a successful PR campaign will put you in good stead to embark on a campaign either on your own or with the helping hand of a professional service.
Which of these tips helped you? Let us know in the comments.
Heart London Magazine Guest Writer
Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant and Freelance Writer.
Vicky is a freelance writer and ecommerce marketing consultant. She loves being part of the brand growth hacking process and producing real, measurable results. In her spare time, Vicky shares her knowledge by writing for a variety of digital publications.