Some public relations campaigns hit their mark, but other fall far short. Why? Here is my prescription for a successful PR campaign.
1. Your client commits to a reasonable budget for the campaign. In other words, your client is willing to spend enough money to get the job done. Trying to make things happen without the budget you need is usually mission impossible and sets you up for failure.
2. You know what you want the campaign to accomplish. In other words, working with your client, you’ve set goals for the campaign. However, make sure those goals are realistic. They should also be clearly defined, so that everyone involved understands exactly what they are. Your goals need to be measurable too or you won’t know if you’ve achieved them.
3. You have a written, doable plan of action. This is important! I don’t care how great your goals are, if you don’t know exactly what you will do to try to achieve them, they are not going to happen. Spell out out the actions you will take and who will be responsible for each action and lay out a sensible timetable for beginning and completing each action.
4. Everyone involved in the public relations campaign understands their responsibilities and has the information, skills and resources they need to meet them. Don’t set up your team for failure by expecting them to deliver more than they can.
5. You monitor and evaluate your campaign once it begins. It’s critical that you know what’s working and what isn’t every step of the way so that you can quickly identify and implement changes as necessary. Also, keep your client in the loop on this. Communication is essential.
One last thing, and it relates to what you should do after a campaign is over. Don’t simply move on to the next one. Instead, while the campaign is still fresh in your minds, you and your team should take the time to size it up. Ask yourselves: What worked and what didn’t; what did we learn from the campaign that we can apply to future campaigns; and what would we do differently next time? This kind of self reflection can be invaluable.