As I am nearing the end of my placement (can you believe it?!) I thought I would do a few blog posts on the kind of things I have learnt here. I know I haven’t posted in a while but I will be putting together some posts for students looking to or getting ready to go on placement – so keep your eyes peeled…
For now, enjoy my post on what I think is ONE of the key factors needed to launch a successful PR campaign…
If asked what skills are needed to launch, implement and measure an effective Public Relations campaign what would your answer be? Communication? Organisation? Creativity? All these answers would be correct, but there seems to be a fundamental one that people tend to forget; knowledge.
By gathering and obtaining an in-depth knowledge of the client, the industry and the audience, you can begin to create an integrated communications campaign which seamlessly brings together the right objectives, actions, and most importantly, results.
Client relationship – Never underestimate the effect your relationship with your client will have on your campaign. By encouraging a strong and constant communication process between you and your client, they will be more enthusiastic to provide you with regular communication of updates, news and knowledge. Organise regular update meetings, switching between your office and theirs and be organised in preparing agendas, status reports and progress reports. Meetings like this also give you face time with the client, which can sometimes be hard to come by. Use this time to chase outstanding approval on press releases, or to get ideas and information for new campaigns. By working together and providing knowledge together, you can come up with a campaign that is sure to see results.
Know the product – If you don’t know or believe in the product you are trying to sell, how can you possibly expect anyone else too? Take your time to learn all you can about the product or service, and try and figure out what you would want to know if someone else was trying to sell it to you. If you can, try and get a sample of the product and play around with it yourself. I deal with a range of clients, from promoting family days out to the most advanced home technology and entertainment systems you can come across. Yet my level of knowledge and research across these is nearly the same, which allows me to set realistic objectives and see results.
Know the news – By keeping up to date with the relevant news in your clients industry, in the correct areas and regions, you can keep your campaigns and your action points relevant. By being relevant, journalists will be interested and your story will probably fit nicely into a feature they are writing.
Journalists – The people you need to impress. Whereas PR agencies can specialise in a number of fields at one time, journalists usually have a specialised subject. And when you have a specialised subject, you tend to know A LOT about it. Make sure you can match that knowledge and get them interested by letting them know you understand what it is they care about and more than that, you care about it too. By providing them with a pitch which seriously taps into the issues today, and into the issues within the industry, with a solution that makes perfect sense, you will grab their attention and they will want to talk to you. Most importantly, it will give them a refreshing change from the similar PR pitch emails they receive each day, and once you have that unique edge on the rest, you will be able to create a relationship that lasts.
Publications and audiences – If you’re pitching the same story or campaign to a number of different publications, make sure you understand the publication. Who is their audience? What is their age range? What are they interested in? How can you tailor your pitch and the angle of your story to best interest that editor and the readers of the magazine.