Gone are the days where PR was measured on the basis of quantum of coverage got from press release disseminated, attendance of hundreds of media at a press conference or for that matter calculation of MAVs & CCMs of coverage. Companies are now opening up to the idea of running creative PR campaigns which can be aligned to meet its business and communication goals. Similarly, PR agencies are also evolving themselves to craft creative and effective PR campaigns which are backed with intensive research, understanding of the company, industry, trends, socio-economic and cultural scenarios etc.. So what could be some factors to be considered to create a compelling PR campaign?
1. Target Audience
First and foremost understanding the target audience of your client is of utmost importance. We should thoroughly understand the consumer segment the company would like to reach out to, what they read, their choices, their key influencers etc. This is the key aspect for consideration when mapping the strategy and outlining the tactics and the medium for reaching out to the appropriate target audience.
It is imperative that we understand the objective/s – business as well as communication objectives which will help define the campaign. For instance, does the company want to create or build or strengthen the awareness about the company/its products/services? This will help to build the strategy of the campaign.
3. Key Messages
Key messages are nothing but top 3 messages that are aligned to the company’s business strategy and consistently communicated and tied to all external communications such as media releases, interviews, marketing/advertising material etc. Effective key messages help develop thought and opinion about an organization.
As Al & Laura Ries said, “It’s PR that needs to be creative. It’s PR that needs to be new and different. It’s PR that needs to be original. The best way to establish a brand is to create a new category, and creating a new category requires creative thinking of the highest order.”
Campaign idea should be crafted with utmost creativity; it does not necessarily need to have a direct connect with your client. One should consider the trends in the industry and also study the socio-economic and cultural factors which could aid in creating an interesting theme which can be aligned to the campaign’s objective. One can always weave in client’s products/services by using analogies/examples.
5. Tactics/Tools to be deployed
After having understood the target audience as well as the objective and key messages for your client, next is to choose the tools which can be used to communicate these. Here is where content plays a major role, so will a bylined/an authored article work or a concept note/whitepaper appeal to the target media? Content should be customized and optimized in the best possible way to create a buzz about the campaign and reach the target audience.
Once we have finalized on the above, one needs to analyze the best medium to communicate. For instance, will giving an exclusive one-on-one interview to a leading daily (financial/mainline) make an impact? Or would you want to give out your message to masses through a press conference/press briefing/press release? Interesting story ideas can also be culled out through select round-table discussions/survey/research reports.
Client’s always like to know the ROI (return on investment) for any PR campaign; hence it is best to set the measurement parameters right in the beginning. The campaign can be measured on a quantative or qualitative basis depending on the objective. One should also consider the depth i.e. if the message has been appropriately shared and reach of the campaign to measure its success. One should also explore award platforms to showcase the best PR campaigns which will prove to be a good testimony.