Okay, so here's the thing. When it comes to public relations, there is no golden recipe or magic trick that ensures the success of your campaign. It's a much more complex situation with many elements to keep track of. Even when the campaign is done, it's not actually done.

So yes, it can be stressful!

That is why media update's Alrika Möller is taking some of the stress away by giving you five tips on how to create your best PR campaign yet.

Decide on the message

There are many different reasons for creating and running a PR campaign. Whether it is for a new product launch or just to promote your brand in general, there are always a multitude of ways to showcase a message or an angle.

You need to take the time to decide exactly what your message is. What do you want people to take away from this campaign?

This part is the most crucial because it will influence everything else you do from this moment on. If you don't have a specific message, the campaign will fall flat or be forgettable, which is never, ever a good thing.

Once you have a message, you can start with everything else.

Create realistic goals

We have all received the speech about the importance of goals at least once in our lives, so this one is probably no surprise.

The key here is to make sure that your goals are realistic. The dream is always that your campaign goes viral and that everyone in the entire world knows about and loves your brand.

It is good to dream, but let's be realistic and focus on the specifics, shall we? Realistic goals can help you with the planning of your campaign, as well as deciding on the mediums you use and the audience you wish to reach.

Look at your previous campaigns and the budget you have at your disposal before you create your goals. The goals of your campaign need to encompass everything from:

  • how many eyes you want the campaign to get
  • what you want the website traffic to be
  • how far you want the campaign to go, and
  • what action you want to inspire within your audience.

Know your audience

After the whole goal-setting session, you probably know who your target audience is. That is great and all, but you can't stop there.

Knowing your audience is more than just knowing who they are. You need to do your research to find out if social media is a better place to reach them than a radio commercial.

Does your audience respond more to humour or facts? Are they more likely to live in suburban areas, or are they city mice?

When you really truly know your audience, you will be able to fill in all the blanks of the when, where and how going forward. If you don't have all the information you need about the people you are trying to reach, there is a big chance that you won't reach them at all.

Timing is everything

We are almost there! We have decided on a message, goals and we got to know our audience. Now, we can start planning. One of the main aspects of planning is determining when the campaign will go live.

The timing of a PR campaign can make or break the whole thing. You don't want your campaign to get lost in a sea of current or big events and other campaigns making headlines.

If your campaign kicks off too late, your audience may not have enough time to get ready for the big release.

If you start a campaign too early, it is possible that the buzz can wear off before it is go-time. Then people forget all about your campaign when the new product releases or when the event actually happens.

You have to find your timing sweet spot.

Keep an eye on the response

Okay, so we made it! You planned a whole campaign, with our help of course
The campaign is live. Do you go on vacation? Not quite!

You have to keep an eye on the public response to know if it was actually a success.

There are many ways to keep an eye on the success of a PR campaign — such as looking at product sales or checking your website traffic. However, the easiest way to know if your efforts in spreading the word worked is by monitoring the media.

Media monitoring basically means that you will know if your brand or product is being talked about just about anywhere. If someone mentions you on the radio, writes about you in the newspaper or posts about you in their blog, media monitoring will let you know.

The moment someone mentions you in a Facebook post or talks about your campaign on their Instagram, social media monitoring will notify you. This will give you an overall view of the success of your campaign and how your audience feels about your message.

Measuring the success of your campaign doesn't have to be complicated.

Do you have a favourite PR campaign at the moment? Let us know in the comments section below.

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We love helping the PR professionals out there. If you are looking for more tips and tricks, or you just need some information, check out How to understand your target audience — in 200 words or less.
*Image courtesy of Canva