A PR campaign can have a tremendous impact on your company’s public image and brand reputation, but it needs to be strategically planned and executed effectively.

A good PR campaign does not mean organizing a fundraiser or launching a press release to the media. You’ll need the right PR software or monitoring tools to create effective campaigns.

Here’s how to create and run the best PR campaigns that enhance your brand value, increase sales, and build positive relationships with the public.

What is a PR campaign?

PR or public relations is a strategic process that builds positive relationships between a company or brand and its audience.

A PR campaign is an organized set of activities designed to positively impact a brand’s reputation. It involves engaging and interacting with the target audience to achieve a specific goal.

Every PR campaign has three distinctive characteristics:

  • Identifying a specific goal
  • Creating the message to achieve the predetermined goal
  • Communicating the message to the target audience

Here are a few examples of campaign goals that companies may set:

  • Raising market awareness for a new product or service
  • Informing the public about any company news
  • Enhancing the brand’s market reputation
  • Attracting a new or larger audience
  • Repositioning an existing product in a new market or territory

How to plan a PR campaign

Let’s jump in and see how we can create a winning PR campaign that successfully attracts the target audience, builds brand awareness, and enhances company revenues.

Clarify the desired campaign goal

Identifying the end campaign objective is the first step for marketers. They must determine the overall marketing strategy and outline the steps required to achieve the predefined goals.

Consider the methods the team will use to measure the campaign’s success. No company would want to receive a bunch of social media screenshots. Instead, they would prefer having clear metrics that support the business objectives.

Determine the ideal audience

PR campaigns need to target the right audience to reach their goals.

For example, you would not target students in the age group of 20-25 if the campaign goal is to increase brand awareness for project management software. The campaign would aim to reach professionals and entrepreneurs who manage projects or project portfolios.

Getting the audience mix right will help your team create an appropriate public relations strategy and media plan.

Brainstorm the campaign plan

Teams need a plan to achieve their goals. Bring in cross-functional teams to generate fresh perspectives and germinate new ideas. Connect the feedback and suggestions to create a campaign roadmap.

Here are a few questions that can help with brainstorming:

  • What will be the campaign message?
  • Who is the intended audience for the PR campaign?
  • Which platforms will be used for broadcasting the campaign message?
  • Which content formats will be used for the campaign?

Scan the market

In this step, review the market and benchmark your competitors.

Execute competitive analysis, digital media reviews, and social media assessments to help clarify how your campaign fits into the broader market. Identify market trends and formulate a plan for countering potential negative reactions. 

Identify your ideal platforms or channels

Pick the platforms or channels where your target audience hangs out. Companies can host offline press conferences, send press releases, or disseminate information using social media influencers. If your audience is between 20-35 years of age, for instance, you might lean on social media to market your product.

Connecting your PR strategy to the brand’s SEO strategy or digital marketing plan can boost its overall effectiveness.

Get early feedback

Getting early feedback on the campaign enables teams to catch obvious mistakes and avoid creating messages that are irrelevant or inaccurate.

Start the process by asking these questions:

  • What is important for our target audience?
  • What are the most important pain points of end-user? Will the campaign help to solve it?
  • Does the campaign message resonate with the audience?

Present the campaign ideas to experts like social media influencers and journalists. Then, share the message with the client to make sure that it aligns with their company values and brand preferences.

Complete the final checks

Before the official PR campaign launch, get the team to double-check everything. Ensure everything is accurate, from the campaign assets to data to launch dates.

Consider leaving some wiggle room to adjust if an activity doesn’t go to plan. Review competitor news and current market data and keep an eye on holidays to make last-minute changes.

Follow up

Remember to have a plan B in place. The majority of the journalists, influencers, and media staff have a crowded inbox full of pitches. Stand out by regularly following up to illustrate clearly why your campaign is newsworthy.

Best practices for PR campaigns

To help you create a winning PR campaign, we’ve compiled our best tips:

  1. Establish the overall campaign goal, roadmap, budget, and timeline
  2. Identify not just the target audience but also their demographic and psychographic attributes
  3. Ensure the story is creative and illustrate how it adds value to the public
  4. Build a relationship with the journalists who cover your specific industry
  5. Ensure 360-degree coverage by including traditional print media, news outlets, social media, and online news sites
  6. Use data-driven insights to plan, create, and implement the campaign
  7. Allow ample time to tweak or pivot the campaign activities to succeed
Everything You Need for a Successful PR Campaign 2
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

How to monitor the success of a PR campaign

Brands spend a considerable amount of time, energy, and resources on PR campaigns. Measuring its success not only helps in justifying its intent but also supports future business growth.

No two campaigns are the same. Different companies use various metrics to measure their campaign success, such as:

  • Increase in sales
  • Social media reach and engagement
  • Social shares on platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Instagram
  • Brand mentions in the press
  • Media impressions
  • Keyword rankings in search engines
  • Number and quality of leads generated
  • Website traffic

PR campaigns that made an impact

Many companies use PR campaigns to grow brand awareness, generate word-of-mouth referrals, and increase their customer base.

But how do you create PR campaigns that leave a memorable impact on your audience? Check out these best PR campaign examples that can serve as an inspiration for yours:

Example 1 – #RebuildTheWorld campaign by LEGO

When the iconic brand LEGO created its #RebuildTheWorld campaign in 2019, they chose the global platform Twitter to build it on. 

LEGO highlighted its brand message throughout Twitter to connect with people of all ages, and these were the results:

  • Gained 92K #RebuildTheWorld tweets
  • Increased positive market sentiment of Lego by 35%

Example 2 – Ice Bucket Challenge by The ALS Association

The ALS Association is a BBB accredited US non-profit that advocates and seeks to discover treatments for the progressive nervous system disease ALS. 

Its Ice Bucket Challenge campaign went hugely viral in 2014 and was one of the most highly successful campaigns of all time. Here are its results:

  • Raised $115 million to support The ALS Association’s research and development of supportive technologies
  • Boosted the organization’s annual funding by 187%
  • Expanded their clinical network by 50%

Types of PR management software

Completing your task becomes easier with the right tools by your side. PR monitoring tools are a must-have for high-performing marketing teams. They enable complete PR life cycle management, from media outreach to tracking campaign success.

Some PR software solutions deliver these capabilities within a unified hub, while others specialize in a specific area, such as media monitoring software. Here are the different types of PR software:

  • Media and influencer targeting software: Focuses on media and influencer management
  • Media monitoring software: Tracks media coverage extensively
  • PR analytics software: Drills down on campaign reporting and analytics
  • PR CRM software: Serves as a single source of truth for PR assets, customers, and external contacts
  • Press release distribution software: Disseminates press releases and stores them in an organized database

How to use Wrike as your PR project management software

Making a brand look good isn’t as easy as it sounds. Every brand or company needs public relations, irrespective of its size. It needs to stand out in a crowded marketplace.

Applying project management for PR enables teams to visualize the big picture. Brands can use PR project management software like Wrike to plan and manage campaigns, execute PR outreach, and publish press releases.

Wrike enables teams to assign tasks easily, track progress, measure campaign success, and organize contacts. Get a free two-week Wrike trial to streamline your media database, track campaign ROI, and consistently build successful PR campaigns.