Developing and launching a PR campaign can be an interesting, exhilarating and exciting process. I’d say that if it’s not, you’re approaching it the wrong way. The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is a process, a cumulative process. It begins with mapping out your stories, pitches, strategies, and timeline. I generally begin every campaign with a brainstorming and PR mapping process. Here I ask the client to tell me everything about their life, company product, hopes, dreams, etc. This is where we gather the ideas and information to build the campaign. I ask that the clients not censor themselves or only tell me information that they think is relevant or important. Often what the client finds boring or inconsequential can be the basis for a fascinating pitch or story. Generally the client is too close to his or her story to be the best judge of which pitches will or won’t work.
As I suggest to prospective clients, it’s important that you too go through a brainstorming session before moving forward on launching a campaign. This is the process in which the stories and ideas for the public relations campaign are developed. In fact these stand alone consultation sessions can redefine a direction and create a roadmap to success that had not been initially considered. In a true sense, they have become a cornerstone of our business.
Once the PR roadmap is developed it’s important to focus on your primary goals and objectives. Keep in mind that media exposure is the vehicle, not the end game. You want to garner media in order to get you and your business exposure, but that’s not your ultimate objective. In other words, garnering media coverage is the avenue not the destination. For a public relations campaign to be truly effective, the media exposure needs to lead you somewhere. Which means before you launch you want to come up with a game plan; in essence you want a PR and business roadmap that will keep you on track towards your goal and objectives.
Media relations is a unique form of marketing. Unlike advertising or direct marketing, with public relations you can’t pick and choose specific outlets and dates that your story or segment will run – that is the challenge of PR. Yet, on the other hand, when a news story does run on you or your business, you are positioned in a unique and powerful way. You gain the credibility and validation of being featured as a news story. Your story is not an ad or a commercial. It’s a news story. A feature in a magazine or newspaper or a segment on TV or radio positions you as an expert and positions your company or product as one of the tops in the field. With PR you reach your target market and build your brand via the media.
Still, as I mentioned before, the media coverage in and of itself is not the final objective. Effectively utilizing your PR is what will build your brand and help bring you clients, customers and sales. That’s why it’s important to define your objectives and your PR blueprint before you launch a campaign. Do you want to establish your brand, sell more products, land more clients, and establish yourself as an expert in your field? All of those objectives are valid, but which are your main objectives? That’s where the brainstorming sessions can be of such value. Once you develop a PR roadmap, you can set a course to reach your media and marketing destination. I’ll be writing more about the value of brainstorming and PR mapping sessions in upcoming articles.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2013
Hassler, Christine. “Dream it. Wish it. Do it.” Photo. Christine Hassler. 15 Nov. 2012. 25 Jan 2012. <http://www.christinehassler.com/2012/11/wondering-if-your-dreams-will-ever-come-true/>
Categories: Entrepreneur PR