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What Exactly Is a PR Campaign?

By July 24, 2023November 28th, 2023No Comments
What is a PR campaign?

A public relations (PR) campaign is when a series of planned activities are designed and delivered to an audience in order to gain that company or brand publicity. These campaigns are normally set out with a specific goal in mind – this is usually to do things like to advertise a new product or to draw attention to a specific event or cause, but it may also be to gain more general notability and drive up site traffic.

The purpose of a PR campaign

A PR campaign may involve various components, but all of these activities will work towards the same goal. 

The campaign will usually be compiled by the public relations sector of a company, although some companies do turn to PR agencies and leave it to the professionals when it comes to their campaign.

Whoever works on the campaign will work towards putting forward a clear, easy-to-understand message to its audience. Any PR campaign must have a clear objective if it is to be effective. 

The message and purpose of a PR campaign will, of course, be specific to its company and the particular goals it has at that moment in time. This purpose may be to promote something or raise awareness of something. Whatever the company wants, it is the job of the PR campaign to get that message across and motivate action from its intended audience. 

What does a successful PR campaign include?

A successful PR campaign will always start with a goal – this is what the company hopes to achieve with the campaign. To avoid this goal being too vague and big-picture, this goal should be narrow and specific and there ought to be a specific target audience in mind. 

A company must take the time to establish the customer persona they want the campaign to reach. For example, if your target audience is families, you will want to create a campaign that expresses a family message.

A PR campaign will also need to choose the right platform upon which they will deliver the message. For example, these campaigns can run through TV or radio, or perhaps just online advertisements. 

Within the campaign itself, you may enlist journalists to help you effectively advertise a certain message or story that will appeal to its audience. Relevant quotes from external sources, employees, or industry leaders may be included, as well as reviews, statistics and any other relevant information. 

The PR campaign will then be distributed across its chosen platform, and it is common for companies to try and forge relationships with journalists and reporters so that they may push this campaign further.

What are the pros and cons of PR campaigns? 

PR campaigns are a hugely popular advertisement method, and there are numerous reasons why this is.

PR campaigns offer an effective way for a business to get a message across to the media and public alike, but some other major benefits of these campaigns are:

  • Build a loyal customer base
  • Increase interest in your brand 
  • Drive up sales and increase revenue 
  • Establish your brand name and give it credibility 
  • Provide your brand with opportunities
  • Get attention from investors 
  • Help educate the public 

But whilst these campaigns can primarily bring huge benefits to the companies that exercise them, there are some general disadvantages that can also come with them:

  • The success of PR campaigns can be difficult to measure – whilst you may count the, for example, media hits your campaign gets, it’s difficult to determine the impact of this on the audience 
  • The media industry moves quickly – whilst your campaign may be impactful and relevant one minute, it can be difficult to know how long this will last 
  • Limited control – once the campaign is out, the company has little control over how it will go down with the public, and if it is spread around by third-party journalists you cannot be sure what is being written

Of course, ultimately, there is no absolute guarantee that any PR campaign will work. You may not be able to get a high-profile article published or in a radio programme and, even if you do, there’s no telling what the impact will be. 

Nonetheless, PR campaigns can give any business a great chance of success if done right. This is why a company may reach out to PR professionals to do their campaign but if not a company must be sure that the PR sector of their company has a clear message, a set target audience, a platform on which to distribute this message and relationships with journalists and reporters to push this message through.