Fresh eyes

The essential foundations of a successful PR campaign

the essential foundations of a successful PR campaign
Ben Hewes Head of Video; PR & Comms Manager

Written by Ben Hewes,
Content Marketing & Video Production Manager at Freshfield

Any PR campaign should start with a good brief, agreed and shared by all of those concerned, to provide focus and direction over a period of time.

This brief will set out the aims and objectives of the campaign, how it will be carried out, and ultimately, how success will be measured.

Initial objectives could be related to raising awareness through the media consumed by the target audience and securing X number of positive mentions in the national, local or trade press covering that sector.

More specific objectives may be to fill rooms in a hotel, increase visits to a website, to raise visitor numbers to an attraction or increase awareness among a particular age group. These objectives should be SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-related. This will help to quantify success, and provide information upon which to make judgements going forward.

The major consideration at the early stage is to define the strategy of the programme. It may be that the strategy is to convert the opinions of a number of key decision-makers or influencers about an important piece of policy or activity using a media campaign.

Equally, it may be to use the power of the internet with a call to action to consumers to vote for a change in legislation through an online questionnaire.

Also identify at this early planning stage who exactly you are targeting, understanding the profile of the audience and how they consume information. If they are aged 16-20, for example, then a campaign using online and social media may be relevant. If they are older then the local media – which is still known to be trusted – may well be more appropriate.

The message you want the audience to receive should also be clarified. Indeed, the extent to which the audience is aware of the message you are communicating at given stages of the campaign is a hard measure of success. Has the audience understood and remembered it and can the response be tracked online in real time via tweets, blog comments or online community threads?

Having set the strategy and objectives, and identified the audience and the message, we can then choose the most relevant tactics, channels or tools. At Freshfield, we have the full set of marcomms tools at our disposal under one roof including video and email marketing.

Choosing which are most relevant for which campaign needs a full understanding of the brief. These tactics can then be put into practice and may well be used in combination to create a powerful campaign with impact targeted at the identified audience.

With this structure in place, an evaluation method can be employed from the outset to track activity against original objectives to measure success with constructive reviews at key milestones of the campaign.

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