PR Campaign Planning


PR Campaigns to build engagement

PR Campaigns to build engagement

PR Campaigns to build engagement

Besides an agreement to marry, being engaged also defines the act of being ‘involved’ with something or someone.

In the marketing world, how engaged your audience is depends on how deeply they relate to your company and how interested they are. 

Are your customers loyal and passionate advocates of your brand? Or are they cynical and distracted?

Having a brand, with an engaged audience is the key to long-term sustainability in your market. This can be facilitated with PR campaigns focused on building engagement. 

What is brand engagement?

Brand engagement is one of the main objectives often defined in a communications plan. If you’re planning a PR Campaign, then ‘engagement’ is likely to be high on your list of PR Objectives.

The term brand engagement is often loosely defined as: emotional commitment, loyalty and a shining reputation that spreads rapidly by word-of-mouth.

Social media engagement

There are many tools to help measure communications engagement, and on social media, this engagement can easily be monitored through interactions. Shares, comments and likes represent a direct feedback loop from customers, telling you how well individuals interact with your content.

Website engagement

With articles and blog posts, engagement can be measured with metrics like scroll depth which measures how far down a visitor scrolls, time on page, and number of comments. Although these metrics can give a false impression when viewed in isolation, when combined they paint a clear picture of engagement.

PR Campaigns to build engagement honey
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Discover how EC-PR helped Concirrus become a leading voice amongst their target audience

How to create a PR campaign to build engagement

PR campaigns which are focused on promoting engagement, rely on content that is interesting, positive, insightful and actionable. This approach should be supported by a strategy that’s designed to spark positive conversations about your brand.

PR campaigns to build engagement dolphins

Be Positive

Campaigns and content which arouse emotions like excitement and wonder are shared more often than content eliciting a more negative response. This was revealed in research from Berger and Milkman, which analysed thousands of articles from New York Times to find the factors that fuel shareability. The results showed a strong relationship between virality and content that evokes positive emotion.

Content with a positive outlook – inspiring awe and wonder – is naturally more contagious and likely to start conversations. On the flipside, content evoking anxiety or anger was found to be more shareable than articles that served to confuse or sadden the audience.

Be Insightful

Campaigns and content that educate your audience and provide insightful answers to your audience’s burning questions invites engagement by sparking conversations.

This content can be delivered in the form of thought leadership articles which give expert opinions on industry issues, and answer commonly asked questions to help build and grow your brand into the industry authority on such matters.

At the same time, demonstrating expertise and credibility can help with your brand positioning by showing your audience that you understand the plethora of possible solutions available, and the pros and cons of each.

Case studies can bring insights to life by relaying direct experiences — acknowledging the audience’s problems and re-living emotions by bringing the problem to life, and then using the classic arc of the hero’s tale to show how it can be overcome.

Be Actionable

Articles that make the rounds on social media are often not only insightful, but actionable.

Content and campaigns that can easily be actioned, generate more engagement because they can have a direct impact on people’s lives; leading them to share their own experiences so they might contribute to solving other people’s problems. According to a study from The New York Times, The Psychology of Sharing, over 90% of social media users assessed the usefulness of a piece before sharing it.

So, along with shining a light on the problem, actionable content should be clear in highlighting a solution, by providing clear advice on how to surpass the struggles. For maximum impact, your advice should be extremely practical and very different from what your market competitors are offering.

Engaging with your audience on social media

Unlike the past when only those in PR or media could easily voice their opinions on products and services, blogging sites and online review platforms have now created a shared narrative — opening a two-way street of communication which is plastered across the internet for all to see.

According to Accenture, 94% of B2B buyers begin their journey online, either sifting through discussions on social media, or reading user reviews and editorial or branded content.

To shape these discussions and ensure that the content you are sharing is getting the best possible reception, you need to be consistently engaging with your audience on relevant social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.

Exactly how you engage will depend on your brand personality and tone of voice. You might be sassy with hot takes, or you may be more helpful and sincere.

By joining the conversation on trending topics, you can establish your brand expertise and demonstrate authority by hosting ‘ask me anything’ (AMA) sessions or curating relevant content. Asking questions to get to know your audience and responding to customer service requests creates a shared narrative, helping to humanize your brand and form relationships with industry influencers to help drive engagement.

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Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

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Whatever campaign direction you choose to take, and whatever your objectives are, supporting your editorial and branded content with a clear social media strategy will swing the engagement algorithms in your favour, helping you to build a community that follows your brand’s every move. The bigger and more engaged your audience is, the more likely it is that every piece of content you create will spread further and feed into prolonged, positive conversations about your brand.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

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READ How to create a clear B2B PR LinkedIn Strategy

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How to use PR campaigns to build trust

How to use PR campaigns to build trust

How to use PR campaigns to build trust

Trust is a precious commodity, developed and banked with your audience over the course of thousands of interactions and touchpoints.

The more honesty and helpfulness infused in each of these interactions, the more trust that is accumulated. Until eventually, you’ve transformed from an ambiguous stranger, to a helpful ally, and your audience are prepared to buy critical products and services from you.

In today’s world however, trust is in scarce supply. The 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed that trust in businesses and governments has significantly eroded since 2012, with the tech sector suffering the largest loss of all.

PR is a powerful tool for building trust by communicating clear brand values and promoting positive engagement. PR campaigns aimed at building trust should be based on a three-step process of educating, influencing and persuading.

Educate with Thought Leadership

Strategic thought leadership content helps build your authority and establish your brand as a brand worth listening to.

White papers

White papers in the form of in-depth reports backed by original data, or guides showing a deep knowledge of the problem, can demonstrate understanding and build authority by helping your prospects to solve a problem or make a decision.

Thought leadership

Thought leadership content gives your company a chance to demonstrate its credibility and earn trust by sharing your expert opinions on industry topics. This might be through well-written articles placed in household publications which are read by the target audience or talks at well attended industry events. With the third-party endorsement of a prestigious publication or event, your business will have a trusted stamp of approval.

PR Campaigns to build trust - thought leadership
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Find out how EC-PR helped Selis strengthen credibility through thought leadership

Influence on social media

Social media is one of the best PR tools that your brand has available to influence customers and demonstrate trustworthiness.

This was quantified in a study by the International Journal of Research in Marketing, which found social media can help improve brand customer relationships by helping consumers to associate human characteristics with brands.

standing out and building trust using PR campaigns

By opening up a two-way street for communication, social media gives brands the opportunity to build trust and grow a community. Demonstrating expertise in this informal setting can help your brand to shake off the corporate mask, share a behind-the-scenes look at your business with your audience, and win a great reputation by quickly responding to customer service requests.

Several pioneering tech firms have given clear examples of how to build trust across a broad audience by using social media.  For example:

HP was the first company to hit one million followers on LinkedIn by posting relevant updates, industry insights, and inviting its audience to follow the page.
Microsoft has found great success building a community, by humanising the computer industry with real stories about employees on Instagram. In a series of social media posts, the software giant highlights the small ways that people are using Microsoft technology to change the world. They’ve created an important dialogue with customers by automating the brand-building approach by inviting its audience to share their own Microsoft stories and become mini-ambassadors for the brand.
Bosch sparked a dynamic discussion on Twitter by promoting the #LikeABosch hashtag, which turns otherwise unglamorous items like washing machines into a source of inspiration that creates prolonged interaction with their audience.

Persuade using free content

An audience that recognises your expertise and engages with you on social media can be drawn even further down your funnel, with strategic giveaways that demonstrate your value.

How-to-guides

How-to guides show that you understand your audience’s pain points and gives them a small taste of what to expect when they work with you. While it might seem that you are giving away your expertise, you are in fact helping the audience to justify their investment in your offering by providing insights into their problem and a clearly articulated solution – best applied by you.

Tutorials and helpful content

Helpful social media posts and tutorial videos can fulfil a similar function, showcasing your expert knowledge and giving prospects the opportunity to ask questions and engage with your brand. Inbound marketing platform, Hubspot uses this strategy to great effect giving away interactive guides and free educational courses to demonstrate their expertise and encourage prospects to purchase a paid service. At the same time, the free content acts as a lead magnet helping to build an email list for future marketing campaigns.

In a similar way, internet marketing tools and Software-as-a-Service platforms like Dropbox and Trello often employ the “freemium” model – a combination of “free” and “premium” to build trust by giving away a basic level of service. This helps grow an audience by providing genuine value before pulling on their purse strings.

Once customers are comfortable on the platform using the free model, they are then more likely to trust the same company, when they need a more enhanced version, rather than switch over to a different brand.

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Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

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As part of your PR planning, factor in the need to build trust. By educating your audience, engaging with them across different platforms, and addressing their needs, your brand and your company will soon have earned the trust required for a long-lasting relationship.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our ultimate guide: How to write a B2B press release

READ this Tech PR case study: How SELiS used press interviews to show Thought Leadership

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

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PR Campaigns to help fill your funnel

PR Campaigns to help fill your funnel

PR Campaigns to help fill your funnel

The marketing funnel (also known as the sales funnel, or customer journey) takes prospects from an initial stage of awareness, all the way through to becoming a qualified lead, a customer, and hopefully, a loyal brand ambassador.

Along the different stages of the buyer’s journey (awareness, interest, desire, and action), PR plays a critical role. With engaging and relevant messaging, that meets their needs during each phase of the customer journey; a strategic PR campaign can draw more leads into the funnel, and ensure they willingly move through the cycle, to eventually become a loyal customer and advocate.

Awareness

The funnel begins with awareness. It’s a fairly simple concept; if your target market doesn’t know that you exist and have a solution to one of their problems, they’re not going to enter your funnel and become your customer.

pr campaigns to fill your funnel - awareness

This is why it’s necessary to begin your PR campaign with tools that make you visible and broaden your reach. Simply put, you need to set your brand up on platforms that your target market uses, and provide influential content, in the form of insights, white papers and thought leadership on subjects that matter to them.

Promote your knowledge and expertise by gaining coverage on specific media outletsblogs, websites, or traditional magazines read by your target audience – that firmly position your brand as the authority.

This media coverage can be supported with activity on social media accounts and pay-per-click ads. These tools are going to be your daily bread; the consistent things that need regular upkeep, maintenance, and engagement to direct people towards your high-quality, relevant content.

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READ: How to select the marketing tools for your integrated PR campaign (PESO)

Interest

When your target market begins to develop an awareness of your brand, they have taken the first step into the funnel. At this point, your goal is to get them to continue on through. To do this, you need to keep them engaged by building trust and demonstrating value.

This step in the buyer’s journey will focus on your potential customer’s problem and the range of solutions available to them; helping them to navigate the choices towards your brand. Now is the time to nurture your leads, paint a picture of their challenges using story-telling. Reach their heart and emotions with empathy and understanding using their language speak to them not at them. Then with authentic engagement and connection, walk them through potential solutions as their trusted adviser.

Today’s customers aren’t just looking for a product or service, they’re looking for connection, authenticity, value, and meaning.

When you take the time to nurture your leads and to provide value to them without asking them to buy, you’re building trust, relationship, and gaining their interest.

At this stage of the funnel, PR content should speak to the cares and concerns of your target market. What is on their mind? What do they need to know? Podcasts, videos, articles, and other educational and inspiring content can speak directly to your leads and provide them value, bringing them further down the funnel.
pr campaigns to fill your funnel - desire

Desire

By the time your leads have reached this phase of the customer journey, they know who your brand is and what it stands for (awareness), and they’re interested in it because you have connected with them, shown them you understand them, and gained their trust (interest).

You’ve also helped them to really pinpoint what their challenges are, and with that knowledge, they’re ready to find and purchase a solution. This is the time to showcase your products or services, and to offer them as the solution they need.

Fortunately, by bringing your leads through your funnel, you don’t need to do a lot of selling at this point. The prospect is already aware of your brand and has an interest in it already. Now that they desire a solution, they’ll know exactly where to turn.

Owned content can play a critical role at this stage.

Use your website and blog or social media to showcase your products and services and provide a smooth progression for leads, who might decide it’s time to visit your website and learn more about what you’re offering after being exposed to editorial placements or relevant external media coverage.

PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning
Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

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Action

At the bottom of your funnel, your lead is ready to convert and become your customer. This is the goal post, the finish line, the place where they take action.

Your lead finds themself on your website, looking at your products, feeling compelled to purchase, and yet there’s always that little nagging voice causing them to fear making the wrong choice.

At this stage, PR can provide the extra layer of comfort needed to make a decision. This can be created with content like reviews, referrals, and testimonials, that give your product or service a third party stamp of approval, and knock down that last barrier to your lead saying, “Yes!”

Done right, PR can not only help fill your funnel by drawing in more prospects, but also build the trust and emotional connection to your brand that makes your offerings the only possible solution in your lead’s mind.

Then, when the prospects come through the bottom of your funnel, they’re ready to stick around.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our complete guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

READ this Tech PR case study: How 2i found its voice: The 18 benefits of a communication strategy

watch our video: how to identify your target audience”

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
Quality B2B PR Campaigns can engage and inspire you audience
PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

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The role of personas in your B2B PR strategy

The role of personas in your B2B PR strategy

The role of personas in your B2B PR strategy

Personas – an essential element of impactful communications

Effective communication is based on an in-depth understanding of your customer base. You need to know who your customers are and which channels they use to stay informed. You need to uncover their fears, pain points and ambitions in order to engage with them successfully.

To facilitate a better understanding of your customers, we create audience profiles or ‘buyer personas’. These are fictional representations of your customers that help visualise their needs, habits and objectives.

buyer personas are fictional representations of your buyers

We ask your potential buyers some of the following key questions:

  • What is your job title and key responsibilities?
  • Where do you go for professional insight? (i.e. LinkedIn, trade media etc)
  • What are your concerns? What keeps you awake at night?
  • What are the key capabilities or expertise you are looking for in a supplier/service?

This information informs the development of typical personas, that may look like this:

Persona illustration

Do I really need personas?

You really do. Without personas, your communication will be impersonal, completely untargeted and therefore ineffective. Personas guide the development of your key messages. They ensure you are targeting the right people with messages that are compelling and tailored to the specific stage of the buying cycle they’re currently at. They reduce waste and promote marketing/sales collaboration.

Personas are integral to campaign planning as they ensure that at every stage of the journey, customers receive an appropriate type of message that nudges them to the next stage of the buying process.

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Find out more about Personas in our guide: Your 8-step communication strategy

Flexibility and longevity

Personas should be a living and breathing concept, not a document to be produced and filed away. Individual personas should be updated over time, or new personas created, in line with your evolving business strategy and changing market dynamics.

Personas are essential to strategic B2B PR

In our experience, it is particularly important that personas, along with key messages, are socialised within the company to ensure that your marketing, sales and customer service teams internalise them and refer to them to guide their content and messages on a day-to-day basis.

The outcome

On a strategic level, personas are an important tool to ensure your communication is targeted and relevant to your key target audiences. Personas also help align your communication efforts with sales by tailoring messaging to specific stages of the buying process.

On a more tactical level, personas support your campaign planning by helping determine what type of message, content and format should be served throughout the customer journey to achieve maximum commercial results.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

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Download our essential guide: B2B PR Campaign Planning

READ this article: Communication without purpose is just noise

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At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

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the ultimate guideto writing a press release front cover

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download

Selecting the right marketing tools for an integrated PR campaign (PESO)

Selecting the right marketing tools for an integrated PR campaign (PESO)

Selecting the right marketing tools for an integrated PR campaign (PESO)

Digital transformation has pushed the once divergent fields of marketing and PR closer together, creating a new media landscape for public relations (PR) professionals.

Integrated PR is PR that you wrap around your marketing activities to create impact and effect. A multi channel approach will broaden your reach and leverage your investment. PR is media-neutral it concerns itself with any form of communication that nurtures and protects reputation while moving your brand towards your desired outcome.

With that in mind, it is important to understand the difference between owned and earned media.

  • Owned media is what you say about yourself, this is brand.
  • Earned media is what others say about you, this is reputation.

This is where you build your brand by using all four media types to optimise your efforts and ensure that the right content appears, at the right touchpoints, along the entire customer journey.

  • Positioning your brand as the authority (earned and owned media).
  • Developing strong brand presence (owned and paid media).
  • Reaching out to customers directly (paid and shared media).

Ensuring your brand is regularly in front of your target audience, with a relevant and compelling message, will ensure that your brand becomes visible, valued, and understood for all the right reasons.

Gini Dietrich, the author of Spin Sucks, has developed an integrated planning tool, the PESO model, to help brands effectively position themselves as industry leaders in this new territory.

What is the PESO model?

The PESO model is your four different media types – paid, earned, shared and owned – and brings them together to create a coherent message, that resonates at the intersection of traditional and digital media.

PESO model

Successful use of the PESO model requires that you select the appropriate paid media for the task in hand and then apply the right tools to the selected media. We take a look at some of the more successful tools out there, for each of the different types of media.

P Paid media tools

New forms of paid media have rapidly proliferated on the internet, including native advertising, sponsored content, paid search, social media promotions via influencers, and content discovery platforms like Outbrain.

Your choice of paid media channels will depend on the demographic you’re targeting. And, how effectively you can tap into the full potential of the paid media channel will depend on which tools you choose to use.

Social media adverts

Social media ads typically rely on an auction model where advertisers bid against others targeting the same audience and keywords. These are best navigated using native platforms like Facebook Campaign Planner and Twitter Ads Manager which let you carefully hone demographic targeting and compare your efforts with competitors.

Google adwords

Advertising on Google Search can be constructed using tools like Google Keyword Planner that help you choose the right campaign setup and quickly shortcut the search rankings.

Content discovery

Content discovery platforms like Taboola and Outbrain can help broaden your reach by recommending your content to other readers who might be interested.

PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning
Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

Download

E Earned media tools

As the traditional realm of PR has evolved to include web-based publications like blogs and social media, a new toolbox has opened up for earned media.

This contains tools like media databases that help find the appropriate journalists and bloggers, pitching aids that automate the outreach process, and analytical tools for monitoring and managing media mentions.

With these tools in hand, the process of contributing content to more traditional media including newspapers and paper magazines, and new media like blog posts and digital magazines, is made vastly more efficient.

Media databases

Gorkana and Buzzstream are media databases that help you build your own media lists and manage outreach by tailoring personal email messages.

Search tools

Search tools including Anewstip and Muck Rack help you find journalists, bloggers, and other media figures by their articles or social media activity.

Distribution tools

Distribution tools like HARO (Help a Reporter Out) put you directly in touch with journalists looking for your expertise, helping you to win media mentions with minimal effort.

Full-stack tools

Full-stack tools like Cision make it easy to identify prospects, build media lists, manage the outreach process and then analyse the results.

S Shared media tools

Keeping your finger on the pulse of the rapidly changing world of social media, means using the right shared media tools. These tools can help you schedule content, spread your reach further, monitor conversations, and amplify your message, by coordinating content delivery across different mediums.

Selecting tools for an integrated PR campaign using PESO

Scheduling tools

Scheduling tools enable you to coordinate delivery across multiple channels from a single dashboard, and then analyse the engagement to see which channels drive the most engagement. These include Loomly and Hootsuite that coordinate content across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and broader content management systems like Hubspot that connect social accounts to other content.

Media monitoring tools

Keep tabs on brand mentions to find out what your audience has to say about you with media monitoring tools . These include Reputology, which tracks mentions across Yelp, Google, and Facebook reviews, and Google Alerts, which tracks mentions across the whole web.

Analytical tools

Analytical tools including Twitter Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and third party tools like Followerwonk can monitor your audience interactions for insights to help drive more engagement, and maximise posts that drive leads and sales.

Content curation tools

Content curation tools like BuzzSumo can identify gaps in competitor content and help you identify publishing opportunities.

Owned Media Tools

O Owned Media Tools

Last, but not least, the right tools are essential for making the most of content that you create and distribute through your own channels including website and blog content, ebooks, whitepapers, newsletters, and podcasts. This content is the easiest to analyse and offers the most potential for gleaning deep insights from your audience.

Web analytics tools

Google’s website analytics tools like Google Analytics, Tag Manager and Search Console can give you an accurate picture of content performance, letting you see where visitors come from, what they click on, analyse the demographics, and determine which campaigns bring the most traffic and conversions.

Content management systems

Content management systems (CMS) including WordPress and Wix provide a platform for creating and managing content that can be optimised for SEO with third-party plugins like Yoast.

Behaviour analytics tools

Behaviour analytics tools like Hotjar can visualise user behaviour through heatmaps to get a deeper understanding of how your audience interacts with your content.

Using the right tools for your PR Campaign Planning means that you’ll not only streamline your PR campaign to achieve your objectives quicker, but you will demonstrate the value of your campaign by linking those efforts directly back to the bottom line of your company.

Join our #B2BPR tribe:

If you’ve found this article valuable, you can get more useful insight here:

Download our complete guide: B2B PR Campaign Planning

READ this Tech PR case study: How we raised news uptake by 400% for InsurTech firm, Concirrus

discover No industry is too complex for PR

At ec-pr we are passionate about b2b communication. We believe your work is amazing and we want to help you tell the world how extraordinary it is. Get in touch.
PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

Download

Subscribe to our updates

Stay up to date with the latest insights, case studies, and PR guides.

the ultimate guideto writing a press release front cover

The ultimate guide to writing a B2B press release

Our expert B2B PR guide with 9 steps to creating a press release that editors want to publish.

Download

Setting your B2B PR campaign objectives

Setting your B2B PR campaign objectives

Setting your B2B PR campaign objectives

The decisions made at the outset of your PR campaigns are often those that echo the loudest down the line.

The first steps to planning your PR campaign should involve setting clear goals and objectives, tied in to specific business objectives, or at the very least, be the classic PR goals of shaping public perception of your brand and managing your reputation.

For example, your PR campaigns might have the aim of:

  • Promoting a new product
  • Raising brand awareness to attract more leads
  • Encouraging audience engagement
  • Demonstrating the value of your product or service

Setting these overarching goals gives your campaign long-term vision, and distilling these goals into clear objectives gives you a clear roadmap for how, where, and when you need to achieve these goals.

As Peter Drucker’s famous SMART mnemonic spells out, the strongest objectives are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-specific.

PR Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning
Your complete Guide to B2B PR Campaign Planning

Including example PR campaigns, content calendar templates, and audit checklists.

Download

How to set SMART PR objectives

Be Specific

When defining your objectives, make sure they’re as specific as possible. If your goal is to raise brand awareness, for instance, your objectives should include specific steps towards reaching that goal, such as:

  • Strengthening your brand
  • Securing a set number of media coverage articles in target publications
  • Creating a set of buyer personas that clearly reflect your target market.

Each objective can then be distilled further into tactics used to pursue these objectives.

For example, strengthening a brand might mean conducting a brand asset audit, and securing media coverage is likely to require assessing the media landscape to identify the outlets most favoured by your target audience.

Ensure that your objectives are Measurable

Laying out measurable objectives means the results of your efforts can be quantified. This proves the value of the PR campaign and ultimately links efforts back to the bottom line.

Measurable objectives typically include specific numbers or key performance indicators (KPIs) that are used to benchmark progress at each stage of the campaign. Some of these KPIs might include:

  • Reach estimates the number of unique people who see and engage with your campaign. This helps you determine if your campaign is reaching enough people and whether this audience is your target market. This KPI can be accurately measured with distribution statistics in paper media, and analytics across the internet and social media.
  • Traditional media coverage can be measured by the number of press clippings, or the number of thought leadership articles secured in target publications.
  • Social media engagement can be measured in terms of comments, likes, and shares, that reflect how well your posts are doing on social media.
  • Web traffic, impressions, and time-on-page metrics reflect rising interest, suggesting that your target audience is keen to find out more about your company.
  • Return on Investment (ROI): Although PR efforts are often thought to be qualitative with the results difficult to measure, PR campaigns that have achieved their goals can often be traced back to a boosted bottom line.
Setting PR campaign objectives with military precision and flair
Choose Achievable objectives

Sustaining momentum through a PR campaign often depends on how realistic your goals are.

To determine how achievable your objectives are and prevent yourself from getting stuck halfway, carefully weigh them against the following conditions:

  • Available resources: PR Campaigns require revenue and manpower to come to fruition. Outlays are likely to include analytical and media outreach tools, and the salaries of professionals. If you’re running a paid campaign on Google, for instance, you might need to pay for ad space, copywriting, and specialist help.
  • Time frame: Successful PR efforts are likely to extend over a series of months or years, with a succession of milestones marking key results. A realistic assessment of these milestones at the outset help you stay on track.
Make sure your objectives are Relevant

Your PR campaign objectives should be fully aligned with the specific business and marketing goals you’re trying to achieve. Otherwise, they might be successfully achieved from a PR perspective, but have no impact on the business— defeating the ultimate purpose.

5 Be Time Specific

Objectives should be fixed within a specific time frame and agreed with all stakeholders.

This is important to not only create a practical sense of urgency that will help push the campaign forward, but also to align with business objectives.

A product launch, for example, will have specific dates and deadlines for conducting market research, creating a positioning statement with clear messaging, and deploying the right media pieces in a promotional campaign.

Meanwhile, a lead generation campaign will require careful planning to sync-up with the plans of sales and marketing and effectively draw prospects in over a specified time period.

Setting PR Campaign Objectives overarching framework

Setting clear overarching goals and using the tried-and-tested SMART framework is one of the first steps in planning and executing a successful PR campaign.   After all, if you don’t know where you’re going, then how will you know when you get there?

For more guidance and tips on how to plan a successful PR campaign, see our post here.

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