Wondering how to run a PR campaign?
Fresh from creating a media flurry for our client Keatons Estate Agents, we reckon we’re in a position to give you an answer.
There are variables at work in every PR campaign. For example, your press release might land on a busy news day, and you won’t have final editorial control of what gets published.
So whilst it’s impossible to say for certain whether it will be a winner, there are steps you can take to give your campaign the very best chance of success.
The following tips explain how to run a PR campaign, with our Keatons campaign as a case study.
Know your goal
Before you start any campaign, you need to know what you’re trying to achieve. Having a goal or goals will give you direction and focus, and make it easier to measure your success.
Your goal should be specific, realistic and measurable. For example, our goals for the Keatons campaign were to drive traffic to the client’s website, gain relevant publicity and reach a new audience.
Come up with a detailed strategy
Once you know your goal, you need to make a detailed plan for how you’re going to reach that goal.
Your strategy should include a timeline and budget, and should identify any potential challenges you might encounter – and how you’ll overcome them.
Find a newsworthy angle
Your press release will have a much better chance of being picked up by the media if you find a creative or unique angle for your story.
Editors receive dozens of press releases every day, so yours needs to be interesting, relevant and a little bit different if you want to catch their attention.
For Keatons, we hit on the idea of conducting a survey to see how clued up people are on property values – both theirs and their neighbours’ – and creating an accompanying property value quiz.
We decided to divide the results by region. Regional publications love information like this, so it’s a good way to pique their interest.
The quiz gave publications a piece of engaging, interactive content to link to, making our story an even more attractive prospect.
Do your research
Solid research is the cornerstone of any successful PR campaign. You might need to generate your own data – through surveys, interviews or focus groups – or you may just need to collect and sift through data from other sources.
For our Keatons campaign, we conducted a survey of 2,000 homeowners from across the country, asking a variety of questions related to property value.
We collated and analysed the results, and identified the most striking statistics – the ones most likely to get our story noticed.
We then designed and built our quiz. We tried out several different versions, testing each one to see which was most visually appealing and enjoyable to use.
Create a targeted release
Your press release is the part of the campaign that’s going to get your story out there, so you need to get it right. Here are some tips for crafting a killer press release.
Think carefully about who to send your release to, and remember – bigger is not necessarily better.
Find publications that are relevant to your industry or your target audience. Editors will be much more interested in stories that are likely to appeal to their readership.
For example, we targeted various property-related publications for Keatons. It seemed to work a treat (but more on that in a moment…)
Monitor the results
Remember when we said your goal should be measurable? Monitor your campaign throughout its entire duration to see how successful it is.
Tracking your results will show you what is and isn’t working, and enable you to tweak your campaign accordingly or build on your success for next time.
There are a number of different metrics you can use to measure your campaign’s impact, including:
- Media impressions
- Website traffic
- Number of backlinks
- Lead generation
- Social media reach
- Engagement on social media
- Brand mentions
- Keyword rankings
- Sales statistics
One of the key indicators of the success of our Keatons campaign was the number of media impressions it received. More than 20 publications picked up the story, both regional and national.
Here are just a few of them…
You get the idea!
How to run a PR campaign: key points
We hope we’ve given you a good idea of how to run a PR campaign. To sum it up:
- Know your goal before you begin
- Create a detailed strategy for how to reach that goal
- Find a unique angle for your story
- Conduct thorough research
- Target your press release
- Monitor your campaign’s impact for its entire duration
If you’d like to know more about how to run a PR campaign, just give us a call – or check out some of our other PR success stories.