Fundamental Factors PR Campaign Need

How can a brand know if a PR campaign will be successful? The short answer is, no one can be absolutely certain of success. We can, however, trust probability based on the consistent positive results of previous campaigns and the human tendency to follow certain patterns and respond to certain messages delivered in certain ways.

So, a better question to ask is: “How can a brand be reasonably sure they have set their next PR campaign up for success? The answer to that question can be found in measuring the campaign plan, execution, and results based on a few specific factors.

Clear Objective

More money or more customers might sound like a great result, but it’s not acceptable as a metric for PR campaign success. Instead, a clear objective goal should be set that measures the brand at the end of the campaign against where they are before the launch. Increasing the audience is a great goal, but who is in that audience and how many of them were reached. These metrics give the campaign something concrete to strive for.

If the goal is to boost sales, clarifying metrics could be “by how much” or “of what product,” and if the goal is something less concrete, like reputation, this can still be measured by how many fans a brand has, or followers on social media, and how responsive are these fans to new messaging? Are they sharing? When, how much, and how often?

Audience

Understanding everything that can be known about the audience in question prior to the launch of the campaign greatly increases the probability of success. Knowing what that audience wants, how they think, and what sort of messages they are apt to pay the most attention to should shape every aspect of the campaign.

Medium

How does the target audience get their information, and what platform is most likely to convey it in the right way at the right time? Traditional media? Social media? Digital platforms? Podcasts, print advertising, or paid influencers? A combination of any or all of these? The answer to this question has as much to do with the audience as it does with the message.

Hook

There is a tremendous amount of narrative noise in the world today, making it more difficult to break through and get a message noticed. One of the best solutions to this is to have a hook that will grab the target audience as they are going about their day, inundated with information. The question here is not “what would be interesting to the brand” or “what is the brand most proud of.” This is a common mistake that can derail a campaign before it even gets off the ground. Instead, ask, “What is important to the audience? What do they want to see or to hear? What will grab their attention?”

Message

The idea here is not that people don’t know the message they are trying to send, but that they don’t invest enough time communicating it in the best way. Word choice matters, and people are much more willing to respond to a story than they are to a statement. For example, look at these two headlines:

1 – Bob’s Parts introduces new widget
2 – Local man discovers answer to lifelong problem

These are simple examples, but think about how they land on a person skimming headlines. Unless a person cares a lot about the widget in question, they will likely ignore the first headline. They don’t know Bob, and they don’t yet have a reason to care. However, they understand struggle and overcoming challenges. There’s a story there! See the different reactions that are caused? Without a compelling story, the campaign is handicapped from the very beginning.