Are you thinking about how to plan your next Public Relations Campaign and are running out of ideas? Or you are simply seeking to know more about planning an effective public relations campaign? Well, look no further as this article will be guiding you on how to go about it with familiar examples.
Among other things, examples teach us how to do things faster than we would have learned them if we were just thought the principles. This is a major reason why examples are used in teaching most things. However, before we look into these examples, let’s set some foundation by looking into what Public Relations is all about. Let’s get going!
What is Public Relations (PR)?
Coschedule defines Public Relations (PR) as the actions a business or organization takes to shape perceptions of its brand and develop relationships with its customer base, target audience, partners, and other important stakeholders.
Public Relations, also called PR, is central to any organization’s activities, as it helps the organization maintain a good public image, which is vital for the organizations’ success.
What is a Public Relations Campaign?
Hubspot describes a Public Relations campaign as an activity that has a clear objective, such as raising awareness of a product, informing the public of company news, reaching a larger audience, or improving the brand’s reputation. It uses strategic messaging to communicate with one’s audience and successfully reach this objective. Visit https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/pr-campaign-tips#, for more details.
Learn.g2 defines a Public Relations campaign as a specific effort to accomplish a clear, measurable goal through strategic messaging to the audience. The objective could be raising awareness of the brand to a new audience, increasing sales for a product or service, or driving attendance to an event, etc.
A Public Relations campaign consists of three main parts and they are:
- Setting an objective.
- Developing a message that will help achieve that objective.
- Communicating that message to the right audience.
These three things need to be successfully executed for Public Relations to be successful.
Benefits of a Public Relations Campaign.
Many times, we just need to know what we stand to gain in an activity to give us that push needed to learn how to do it. So what do you stand to gain by getting your Public Relations campaign efforts right?
Increased Brand Awareness.
One of the natural consequences of communicating with the public is increasing your brand awareness. The more you communicate with the public, the more they get to hear about your brand. Public Relations Campaign is another viable way of marketing your goods and services to the public.
When other media outlets cover your Press Release of new products, it boosts the credibility of your brand. As consumers are more likely to believe third-party coverage of your products than what your adverts present.
When your Public Relations campaign is done right, it has the capacity to generate further opportunities for your business. For instance, it could lead to the coverage of your products on TV, Radio, Newspapers, etc., and this can lead to a tremendous increase in your sales.
Reduced Cost of Marketing
Another major benefit of an effective Public Relations campaign is that it is cost-effective. Unlike adverts and other mainstream marketing activities, Public Relations campaigns cost much less in the short term and long term and have a better chance of helping the business than other means of marketing. Some Public Relations coverage can even be gotten free of charge.
Examples of Effective PR Campaigns and Lessons to Learn
1. The Ice Bucket Challenge
The Ice bucket challenge also known as ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was co-founded by Pete Frates and Pat Quinn. It became viral on social media around July and August 2014.
According to Wikipedia, this challenge involved pouring ice water over a person’s head either by one’s self or by another person, to promote awareness for a disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as motor neuron disease), and encourage donations for research. Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Bucket_Challenge, for more details.
During the challenge, participants nominated their friends to participate in the challenge by uploading videos of themselves being poured a bucket of ice water, over their heads. They were expected to upload this video within 24 hours or forfeit it by donating to the ALS Association.
Why was the campaign successful?
Here are a few key points why this campaign was a success:
- It was built around a cause: It gave people the opportunity to raise awareness for ALS and to raise money for research.
- It encouraged people to participate: Participants nominated others and encouraged them to post their videos or make a donation to the ALS Association. This ensured there was a growing number of participants over the course of two months.
- Fun and Creativity: This campaign combined creativity and fun. Pouring water a bucket of ice water is fun and creative, videoing the action just shifts the whole thing to a whole new level. This contributed to the success of this campaign.
These three points were key in making this Public Relations Campaign very effective. If you imbibe these principles in your next Public Relations campaign, you can be sure to get similar results.
2. Googles Impact Challenge
Googles Impact Challenge for women and girls commits $25 million to support organizations involved in creating opportunities for women and girls to prosper. They collaborate with these organizations by supporting their charitable initiatives financially, providing mentorship, etc.
To participate in this challenge, organizations were encouraged to apply. After the application, the Google team of experts will review all applications. Successful organizations that scale through this review stage will receive the necessary funding and support from Google.
What made this Public Relations Campaign Successful?
Setting aside a significant reward for participants: The finalists in this campaign can receive as much as $2 million. This makes it highly appealing for participants.
Taking on big issues: You would agree with me that the welfare of women and girls around the world is a major issue that deserves more attention. Trying to tackle this issue attracts lots of attention.
Encouraging Participants: They encourage individuals and organizations that qualify to apply for this support. In addition, they raise awareness for everyone that enters the contest such that more persons are encouraged to participate.
Lyft & David Ortiz (3).
Lyft is a popular ride-sharing company that offers users the opportunity to order a ride, within minutes or become a driver and make some money giving rides to other users.
In 2016, Lyft pulled off an effective Public Relations campaign by getting David Ortiz a popular retired Baseball player to give rides to a few users at random. Needless to say that it was a very effective Public Relations stunt as it got more users registered on Lyft and kept the name Lyft on the lips of many Americans (especially Bostonians), for the right reasons.
Lessons to be learned from this campaign.
Use a popular personality: Identify an individual that is popular among your target audience and use them to spearhead your Public Relations campaign, as you try to reach these ones. That was what Lyft did with David Ortiz.
Do something out of the box: Out of the box is surprising your customers with their favorite Baseball star as their driver.
4. Smokey the Bear
This is considered one of the most popular and long-lasting Campaigns ever done in the United States of America. This was a result of the collaboration between the US service and the Ad Council.
The major objective of this campaign was to get people to care more about their environment and be more committed to stopping the spread of wildfires. This campaign began in the 1940s and has been central in the efforts to stop or reduce wildfires.
Factors that made this campaign a success.
It places the responsibility of preventing wildfires on the people, not on some unpredictable natural phenomenon. This new sense of responsibility was both exciting and challenging, as people became more conscious of the role their activities played in preventing or increasing wildfires.
The entire campaign was summarized in an easy-to-remember message or slogan – Only you can prevent forest fires (which was later modified to only you can prevent wildfires). This simple messaging was very key to the success of this campaign. As you plan your next Public Relations campaign, build it around an easy-to-remember message or slogan, as it goes a long way in increasing the chances of success for your campaign.
It was built on a unique character – Smokey the bear! A talking bear will just as readily catch your attention as a celebrity. It explains why this campaign was so effective. To replicate this success, try building your campaign around a unique character.
In the case of Smokey the bear, it was built on a talking bear. That of Lyft was built on David Ortiz. The pattern here validates the efficacy of building your Public Relations campaign on a unique figure or character.
Although there are a lot of successful Public Relations campaigns around the world, we have limited our discussion to these five because they are familiar and easy to understand. We sincerely hope that with these examples and the principles or secrets embedded in them, you will go-ahead to develop an effective Public Relations campaign for your organization, that will lead to lots of conversions.
Wishing you success as you proceed to develop your Public Relations Campaign!