Public relations isn’t an exact science, but it does require a strategic process. Below are five key elements that comprise a strategic PR campaign.
Know your target audience. Understanding the target audience is the most important part of any successful public relations strategy. Do your research and identify the demographics of the ideal customer. Then you can tailor the PR elements of your campaign around these characteristics.
Set realistic goals. Think about what you hope to achieve with your brand, and when. Be realistic, but also don’t be afraid to be ambitious. You should have a clear vision of what you want your PR strategy to accomplish, whether it’s increased social media presence, traditional media exposure, or thought leadership. Include these goals in your PR strategy and create an action plan with which to achieve them.
Develop a message. Once you know who you’re reaching and what you want to achieve, the next step is figuring out how to tailor your message to your audience to make your goals a reality. Because you’ve done your research and know your audience, you should know the most effective ways to reach them. Maybe you’ve identified a gap in the marketplace that you can fill with your products or services. Create a message that identifies these pain points and clearly outlines how your brand can improve their lives. Use language that best speaks to your audience, and reach them through the media they’re likely to consume.
Know your competition. The only way to stay ahead of the competition is to know everything about it. Make a list of your biggest threats and then take note of what they’re doing. Monitor their PR activities and note their successes and missteps. If a strategy seems to be working for them, see if you can incorporate something similar into your own campaign. If you see them lacking in a certain area, there’s an opportunity for you to fill the gap. Don’t directly replicate your competition’s PR strategies. Rather, learn from them to improve your own.
Stay relevant. The only way to stay top-of-mind with the public is to remain a relevant force in the marketplace for as long as possible. Keep up with trends, and go where the people are. Experiment with different social media platforms as they fall in and out of favor with your target audience. Following long-term trends is always important, but also stay on top of viral crazes and current events. People will only talk about your brand if your brand is doing things worth talking about, so keep your ear to the ground and create buzz as often as possible.