Why Your PR Campaign Isn’t Working

You attended hours of strategy planning sessions. You worked and reworked your budget. You put together a compelling PowerPoint presentation, and after a lot of back and forth you finally got approval. When your new PR program officially launched you sighed with relief and had a celebratory drink.

Now that’s been a few months, the program feels like its lost some momentum and in turn, the results just aren’t there any more.

You may want to look at your campaign objectives.

Don’t get “objectives” confused with “goals.” Goals are broad and more general and usually include increasing sales, growing business, and driving profit.

In contrast, objectives are much more specific and provide measurable guidelines to achieve your goals.

Some examples of objectives include:

   »  “Our objective is to increase traffic to the sales page of our website by 35% by January 2022”

   »  “Our objective is to grow referrals by 25% in the 2022 calendar year”

Objectives are specific, include a timeline, and should allow you to definitively answer the question, “did we reach this objective?” with a “yes” or “no” answer.

These objectives should then drive the direction for your campaign.

Here is where we often see clients run into trouble:

I’ll use the analogy of kids on a soccer field. Someone kicks the ball and every player on the field runs after it. The ball gets kicked back and every player on the field runs the other way. The players either forgot, or more likely, never knew the strategy of the play.

Just like strategy in soccer, the players on your marketing team (or more likely the management team) should not get distracted by opportunities if they aren’t part of your PR strategy; and the sure way to know whether they’re the right opportunities is to check them against your objectives.

You must ask, “Will this action help us to achieve one or more of our objectives?” If the answer is ‘no,’ then you should not move forward.

Sometimes opportunities arise that are temping– a potential partnership, a high-level event sponsorship at a good cost, an interview with the CEO’s dream publication. Rather than jump right in, line the opportunity up next to your objectives. Doing this will ensure that each tactic will ultimately help you achieve campaign success.

Many marketing managers have at one time tried the “spray and pray” method of marketing, where you try a bunch of different tactics hoping at least one will produce results. While this might be a good CYA tactic (“yes, we did that”), the results rarely meet marketing goals, not to mention company goals.

If your campaign isn’t working, take the time now to understand why and start with a good, hard look at your objectives. If they’re not specific or don’t exist, fix the problem now before it’s too late.


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