Starting a PR campaign can be an exciting but also a daunting task. It is important to remember that the early days of a campaign are crucial in setting the tone for the rest of the campaign.
In the early days of a PR campaign, it's important to stay focused on the long-term goals and not get discouraged by initial challenges or setbacks. Keeping a clear and realistic timeline for the campaign, regularly monitoring progress and gathering feedback, and celebrating small victories can help maintain momentum and motivation. It's also important to have a contingency plan in place and be flexible in adapting to changes and unexpected events, as well as seeking support from a team or mentor when needed.
It’s important to set realistic goals in the early days of a campaign to avoid disappointment later on. Setting achievable goals will give you something to work towards and help you stay motivated.
Start out by assessing your resources and budget. Determine what you’re going to need, whether it’s money to hire a PR firm, wages for personnel or employees, or technology needs - for example, paying hosting fees for a new website. Once you figure out what you have available and what you need those resources to cover, allocate your resources accordingly. This will help you be realistic about your campaign’s goals.
For example, say you’re a startup and you are able to designate $5k to your PR campaign. You initially wanted to pay for X amount of top tier media placements, but you’ve found out that your budget only allows for Y number of placements. You can make that work - just be realistic. Maybe you can’t afford a full feature in Forbes, but you find that your budget allows for a press release in Yahoo Finance. Use what you’ve got and allocate resources wisely.
Use the SMART framework to set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goals for your PR campaign.
Using the SMART framework can help to clarify goals and make sure they are achievable, and it helps to increase motivation and commitment to the goal. As your campaign progresses, continuously evaluate and adjust goals as needed based on the changing landscape and feedback from stakeholders.
PR campaigns take time to gain traction. It's important to be patient and not expect immediate results. Patience is key when it comes to public relations results. PR campaigns often take time to produce significant outcomes, as building relationships and influencing public opinion takes time and effort. Immediate results are not always possible or realistic. It's important to have realistic expectations and to understand that the impact of PR efforts may not be immediately apparent. Consistent, strategic efforts over time will ultimately lead to the desired outcomes.
Let’s go back to the previous point - setting realistic goals. That’s a big part of practicing patience when it comes to anticipating results. Having goals that are clearly defined and attainable are the kinds of goals that will allow you to measure your progress. When you’re able to see obvious signs of progress, it’s easier to stay patient and let your campaign do its work.
You can expect to see results such as increased media coverage, increased brand reputation, increased engagement, and other more specific results, such as influencer partnerships, more products or services sold, an increase in customers, and increased stakeholder engagement. However, nothing happens overnight. It can take time for even the most well thought-out PR campaigns to achieve a secure footing in the media.
For example, let’s say you sold an average of 5,000 units of your product before your PR campaign. You hire a PR firm, which secures placements of press releases in top-tier media outlets. You shouldn’t expect that 5,000 to become 50,000 after one day of having your press release published. However, given time and media exposure, a well-crafted PR campaign will have results.
Keeping track of your progress and maintaining good organization is key to staying on top of your campaign. Use tools like spreadsheets or project management software to help keep you organized.
When you’re starting out, make sure you create a detailed plan for your PR campaign. Outline the steps and timeline for the campaign, including specific tasks, deadlines, and responsibilities. Use project management tools like Trello, Asana, or Monday.com to help keep track of progress, assign tasks, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Maintain clear communication by establishing clear channels between team members, stakeholders, and partners to ensure that everyone is aware of progress and any changes. Find out what type of communication works best for everyone, whether it’s email, Teams, Skype, etc.
Record-keeping will help you stay organized as well. Keep records: Document all key decisions, media coverage, and stakeholder interactions for future reference and to measure success.
Building relationships with journalists, bloggers, and influencers is important for the success of your campaign. Attend industry events and make connections with people in your field. You’ll want to identify your key stakeholders, whether it’s influencers in your industry or media outlets relevant to your PR goals.
You can foster these partnerships by reaching out on social media, establishing connections across various platforms, or even attending relevant events. Make sure you’re offering all partners or potential partners valuable content, insights, or resources, depending on the stakeholders’ own personal goals. This will help to establish credibility and trust.
Build on this by creating an individualized experience - personalize your approach to networking by tailoring your communications to the specific needs and interests of each stakeholder. What appeals to one potential partner might not work for another one!
Example: you’re launching a new line of activewear for women and you’ve located some top influencers on TikTok that you’re hoping will promote your products - and one of those influencers is a dedicated vegan who only wears clothing made from natural fibers. If your activewear is made of synthetic fiber, this influencer probably won’t be interested in promoting your product. Either look for a different partner or offer this influencer an all-natural option, if that’s something you carry.
Both during and after your PR campaign, stay in touch with your collaborators. Regularly follow up and maintain contact with key stakeholders to keep your brand top-of-mind and foster ongoing relationships.
Another big part of networking may include attending relevant events, conferences, or other events to make new connections, build relationships with existing contacts, and stay up-to-date on industry trends.
Creating a fresh, unique PR campaign can help you stand out from the competition and achieve your goals. If you’re looking for inspiration, take a look at successful campaigns for products or services within your industry to see how they found unexpected ways to tell the story of their brand.
Whether it’s interactive experiences, storytelling, or humor, there are endless ways to put your company out there in a memorable way. Mix it up by using different mediums, such as video, social media, or events to reach your target audience and engage with them in new ways.
You can also utilize creativity when it comes to networking or collaborations. Reaching out to other brands, to influencers, or to artists or musicians to draft impactful campaigns can showcase your brand in a fun new light.
An example of a creative PR campaign is "The Ball Project" by UNICEF. The campaign was launched to raise awareness about the lack of clean water and proper sanitation in developing countries.
The campaign involved creating a ball that was half deflated, symbolizing the lack of access to clean water, and promoting the idea of donating money to help fund water projects for those in need. The balls were distributed to schools and events, and people were encouraged to take photos of themselves with the ball and share it on social media with the hashtag #PlayForLife.
The campaign was successful in raising awareness and funds for clean water projects, and it also generated buzz and engagement through social media. The creative approach to the issue helped people understand the impact of the lack of access to clean water, and inspired them to take action and make a difference.
Another example of a creative PR campaign is the "Share a Coke" campaign by Coca-Cola. This campaign was launched in 2013 and aimed to increase brand engagement and drive sales of Coca-Cola products.
The campaign involved printing popular names on Coca-Cola cans and bottles, encouraging people to find and share a Coke with their friends, family, or even a stranger with the same name. The campaign also included a social media component, where people could share photos of themselves with their personalized Coke, using the hashtag #ShareaCoke.
The campaign was a huge success, generating a lot of buzz and engagement, as well as increased sales. The creative approach to the campaign made it more personal and memorable, and helped connect with people in a unique and impactful way.
It's easy to get discouraged when things don't go as planned, but it's important to stay positive and keep pushing forward. Remember, every campaign has its ups and downs, but perseverance is key to success.
A great way to keep up the positivity is seeking feedback from your targeted audience. Maybe not all your reviews will be glowing - but you will find customers or clients that love your products or services and are excited about your newest offerings. This also gives you a great opportunity to reach out to any customers who were disappointed so you can focus on providing superior customer service.
Make sure you’re staying as up-to-date as possible current events, trends, and pop culture that relate to your company and products. This can spark creativity and give you exciting new ideas to implement.
Staying positive in the early days of a PR campaign is important for maintaining motivation and ensuring success. Focusing on the bigger picture and setting achievable goals can help maintain a positive outlook, even when challenges arise. Celebrating small wins and seeking support from colleagues can also boost morale and help you stay positive throughout the PR campaign.
Starting a PR campaign is not an easy task and it takes time and persistence to see results. By staying organized, setting realistic goals, being patient, networking, being creative, and keeping a positive attitude, you will be able to persevere through the early days of your PR campaign and set the foundation for success.
Imperium Group is an American public relations and marketing consultancy firm. Founded in 2016, it specializes in guaranteed placements, creating utmost transparency for its clients. Imperium Group generates over 15M impressions a month for its clients. Its team is based out of New York, Dallas, and Los Angeles.
For more information about Imperium Group, please see https://navigator.imperiumgrouppr.com/.