A public relations (PR) campaign is a set of planned activities with a clear objective, which is typically to raise awareness about a product or service, to inform the public about company news or to reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness.
A PR campaign serves the purpose of maintaining a brand’s positive reputation and positive relations between the brand and the public.
While there are different types of public relations, the goal of a PR campaign is typically to attract media attention and increase a brand’s visibility.
A PR campaign is handled by a public relations team that is in charge of a reputation management strategy or managing a brand’s image. These specialists manage how a brand presents itself and how the brand is perceived by the public.
Why Run A Public Relations Campaign?
A PR campaign is a powerful marketing tool used by big names such as Nike, Coca-Coca and Apple. The ease and endless possibilities of spreading the news in the digital environment has made PR campaigns even more effective today, so they can achieve a bigger impact than ever.
Running a PR campaign helps:
Increase Brand Awareness
One of the biggest benefits of running a PR campaign is increased brand awareness.
A PR campaign helps you get the word out about your product or service to a wider audience and reach more potential customers. Spreading your message efficiently and consistently via a PR campaign allows customers to recognize and get to know your brand.
A PR campaign can also help increase credibility for your brand. When other brands, media, and influencers speak positively about your brand, this increases your credibility.
For example, when your product or service receives coverage in well-known magazines, blogs or influencer’s websites that consumers already know and trust, the consumers are more likely to perceive your brand as credible.
Improve Lead Generation
As your effective PR campaign increases visibility and creates a buzz about your product or service, the number of qualified leads starts to grow.
For example, if you write a press release that is optimized for search engines and includes a link back to your company’s website, more people will discover your brand and visit your website, increasing qualified leads for your brand.
A PR campaign is also highly beneficial when trying to secure funding for your business. Spreading the word about your brand in the media helps investors and venture capitalists become aware of your company and what you do.
A PR campaign can help show them that your company is a bankable investment opportunity.
How To Launch A PR Campaign In 7 Steps
To launch an effective PR campaign takes a lot of planning to ensure the quality and success of all the related activities.
Here are the steps you need to follow to launch a successful PR campaign:
Step #1: Define Your Campaign Goals
The first step is to define your goals for the campaign. What is it that you want to achieve?
For example, your campaign objective might be to:
Reach new audiences
Increase product sales
Build a connection with your target audience
Think about your goals and decide on the purpose of the PR campaign.
Step#2: Identify KPIs To Track
Now that you know what the goal of your campaign is, you can identify the right key performance indicators (KPIs) to track the success of your campaign.
For example, if your goal is to reach a wider audience, you can track the number of new followers since launching the campaign.
You can also measure engagement, if your goal is to build a relationship with your audience, by tracking likes, shares and comments.
Step #3: Determine Your Target Audience
The next step is to determine who you want your message to reach. Who is your target audience for the campaign?
To help improve your targeting, segment your audience into groups based on their demographics, interests and pain points. Create buyer personas to help you visualize your audience and tailor your approach to each group.
A buyer persona is a fictional persona, a description or profile of a person who is a typical representative of an audience.
Step #4: Choose A Channel Or Platform
The next step is to choose a suitable channel or platform for your PR campaign. Generally, there are two types of channels – traditional and digital.
Traditional channels include:
Digital channels include:
While traditional channels are still a powerful method to gain exposure for your brand (9 in 10 people still relied on traditional media for news about the coronavirus) the focus has largely shifted towards digital channels.
You can use both, of course, depending on your campaign goals and where your target audience spends the most time. If your target audience prefers radio, then this makes the most sense. If they’re mostly a younger population that doesn’t consume their news on radio or TV, it wouldn’t make sense to try to reach them via these channels.
Step #5: Conduct Research
Research your market and competitors to help you understand how your brand is positioned in comparison.
Who are the market leaders in your industry and why? What tactics and methods do they use for PR?
Research the market trends to evaluate both risks and opportunities.
Knowing how consumers perceive your brand against your competitors will provide valuable insights you can leverage in your PR campaign.
Step #6: Write A Press Release
The next step is to write a great press release to promote your product or service, announce a new launch, or share news about winning an award. Try to grab the audiences’ attention with a strong headline.
Your press release should be clear and concise, and include a link to your company website so readers can click on it if they want to know more about your brand. You should also include a company description and contact information.
Step #7: Launch Your Campaign
Now it’s time to launch your campaign and distribute the press release to media publications. Reach out to journalists from publications that might be interested in your news.
When a publication shares your news, write to them to ask them to include a link to your website in the article.
Now all that’s left is to track how well your campaign is performing and make tweaks if necessary!
3 Examples Of Successful PR Campaigns
We talked about PR campaigns a lot above, but what does a successful PR campaign look like exactly?
We’ll show you a few examples of PR campaigns that were so effective, people still talk about them today:
Dove Real Beauty Campaign
Dove’s Real Beauty campaign was a genius move to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes. The brand used sketches of women to show them first how they see themselves and then how they are seen by another woman. The second sketch always turns out better.
The message is clear: All women are beautiful. It is no wonder that this campaign resonated with the audience so much and is considered one of the most powerful PR campaigns in recent times.
Here’s the video:
Ikea Stay At Home Campaign
At a time when brands and the public alike felt the responsibility to urge people to stay at home in an effort to reduce the coronavirus, Ikea created a brilliant PR campaign called #StayAtHome.
Ikea paid an emotional tribute to our homes, the place where we create memories, celebrate great news, and a place that is always there for us, to encourage audiences not only to stay at home but to cherish the time they have at home and the memories they make.
The video was seen by over one million users on Twitter, in the first week after launch.
Watch the video here:
Uber Thank You For Not Riding Campaign
Uber also felt the need to urge people to stay at home during the coronavirus and created a campaign around this idea.
As a company that makes money by providing rides, this was a very bold move from Uber and showed how dire the situation was.
Deemed one of the most successful campaigns launched during the coronavirus, the heartwarming ad was published in 2020 and highlighted Uber’s gratitude to customers for staying at home and not calling on Uber. Needless to say, the campaign helped the brand strengthen the emotional connection with its customer base.
Watch the ad here:
Wrapping Up On PR Campaigns
A set of planned activities with a clear objective, also known as a PR campaign, can help you increase brand awareness, increase credibility, improve lead generation and attract investors.
To launch a successful campaign and reap these benefits, you need to:
Define your campaign goals
Identify KPIs to track
Determine your target audience
Choose a channel or platform
Write a press release
Launch your campaign
We’ve seen three examples of successful PR campaigns that generated a lot of buzz and helped each brand form an emotional connection with their audiences.
Your brand may not be as recognized as Dove, Ikea and Uber, but neither were they when they first started. It takes a great marketing and public relations strategy to achieve long-term success.
We’ll find qualified public relations agencies for your project, for free.