All good PR campaigns start from a specific strategy. This strategy should aim to accomplish a specific goal and consequently an objective. The goal might be to gain the attention of a new demographic or the trust of your target audience after a crisis. The objective is more tangible, for example it could be to grow daily active users on your system by 10%. Whatever your goal, applying strategic thinking to a communications program is the cornerstone for creating successful outcomes.
To help you think strategically and execute on putting together a strategic campaign, here are 6 useful tips:
1. Do your research. Before you get started make sure you’ve dug into the details about your target audiences – their likes and dislikes, your competitors and their products, the industry you are trying to penetrate, and finally, understand the overall economic climate in the region you’re hoping to target.
2. Set goals. These are very important and are the overarching aim of the strategy. They should succinctly describe what you want to achieve.
- An example goal is as follows: To educate young adults (20-30 year olds) about the benefits that Company X’s products provide them.
3. From the goal(s), set your objectives. These are the steps you will take to achieve the goal(s) of the campaign or program.
- An example objective is as follows: Implement relevant communications tactics to drive awareness to product X and consequently grow the sales of the product with 20-30 year olds by 10% in the next two business quarters.
4. Map out your timelines for delivery and set overarching deadlines for the tactical execution. What does this mean? Make a calendar with deadlines for when you will launch various initiatives. Include everything from your social media schedule, to your press release content and dates, to your media pitching timelines. With everything in one place, it’s easy to visualize and manage the campaign.
5. If your original plan isn’t working the way you thought it would, don’t be afraid to make changes to your tactics while the campaign is live. An effective strategy is not a stand-alone product, it’s an organic entity that needs to evolve with changing circumstances.
6. Measure, track metrics, and report on the overall success of your campaign. Use Google Analytics, links to unique URLs, and social media reporting tools to measure your success. Also look at the dollars spent vs. earned, sentiment of the overall campaign (was it positive or negative?), social shares, and if possible the number of views for your articles and tactics.
These tips will help you to build and execute on an effective communications program. Good Luck!