In our practice we often get asked what is the secret to a good PR campaign. In all reality you need a good strategy, you need a plan, and you need a good team to execute on all the individual tactics. With that being said there are a few items that Stonehill works to make sure is included within every strategy that we create and implement..
The Story - Above all the story is the most important part of the PR strategy. I have witnessed campaigns that were flawlessly implemented fail because there was no story behind the strategy. I have also seen campaigns fail because the story was not genuine to the company's brand. When you start any campaign take a moment to consider the audience and what they will be interested in what you are doing. What are their drivers - emotion, financial, community interest, etc. In building the story you also need to include consider multiple items. Does the story educate? Does it entertain? Does it appeal to the users emotions? Does it build trust and establish a relationship? Having a story that accomplishes all of the above ensures that you will have relevancy and engagement.
Distribution - Once you have a great story you need to think about how you are going to get it in front of your audience. Think about how your audience gets information and where they get it from. Speak to them in their voice and be sure to consider the context of the campaign - Video, Online, Mobile, Audio). Be sure to leverage traditional strategies while incorporating new media. Create the press release, send to targeted media contacts (local and industry), send via a wire service like PR Web, pitch the story to reporters and community groups. Also make sure to post it on your website, solicit the help of industry bloggers, distribute across social media, and leverage pay per click advertising to boost and present display ads for your campaign across channels (social, trade publications, and business publications).
Reinforcement - In my opinion the most important and most commonly overlooked step in the process. Once you get the audience to interact with your message once, leverage that interaction to build a relationship. Online remarketing campaigns leveraging follow me ads are incredibly powerful and inexpensive for the value they bring. Educational speaking engagements to establish your team as valued experts and bring more depth to the overall story. Integration of tangible actions like events or sponsorship also help to accomplish this goal.
As you can see a good PR campaign is more than just the creation and sending of a single press release. A good strategy wrapped with a great story can go a long way!