When it comes to generating positive media coverage for your brand, knowing what questions to ask from the outset of the campaign can help to unleash the full power of the promotion. Even if you have all the right tools in your arsenal, if you don’t answer the mission-critical questions of why, who, where and what, you are going to fall short. Answering these well-documented fundamental questions will help you to unlock the most important metric of all: targeting.
If your PR activity isn’t geared towards the right target audience, it’s going to be much less effective. This is equally true for all mediums and methods: paid, earned, shared, and owned. Nothing you do really matters if you’re not targeting the right audience with the right message at the right time. Let’s break them down – and ask the key questions that matter.
It’s simple. The heart of what we do as public relations professionals is to inspire people to take a desired action, whether that be purchasing a product, attending an event, interacting with a social media post, or simply becoming aware of an idea. This fundamental purpose extends to all PR and marketing campaigns, regardless of whether they are consumer-focused or B2B and regardless of industry. However, if your communication is not targeted to the right people, you won’t get the results you desire. When developing targeted strategic communication strategies, consider who you are targeting, where to reach them, and what drives their decision-making.
Who is your audience?
The first step to a successful targeted campaign is determining the key customer personas. In other words, who are your current and potential customers? Knowing who your customer is, lets you tailor the entire campaign to them. Your PR tactics and messaging can be targeted towards their wants, needs, and impulses, leading to a more effective strategy that will drive results towards a business goal. Understanding your audience helps to determine the content that will resonate most closely with them.
Where can you find them?
Next is figuring out where your customers are. We are not just talking about physical location – although, determining a regional focus area is important too. More specifically, think about what media outlets, journalists, and influencers the target audience follows. Figure out what communities they tend to be involved in, including forums, Facebook groups, subreddits, etc. If you want to reach your target audience effectively, you need to meet them where they already are. Focus your media relations strategy on the publications they read.
What do you say to them?
So, you’ve figured out who your target customer is and where to reach them. What’s next? Developing targeted messages tailored to what drives their decision-making. This is perhaps the most difficult part of developing any successful PR strategy, but if done well it will deliver real and measurable results. For messages to be effective, they must respond to the needs, issues, and desires of customers. If messages do not resonate with the target audience, they will not have a strong impact that drives people towards the targeted action.
Putting the plan into action
Once you complete all the legwork above to develop a strategy that ensures your PR plan is effective, you can finally delve into the actual PR tactics. Ultimately, there’s no single best way to execute a public relations program. What matters most is that it’s reaching the right people with a message that speaks to them in the places they’re already consuming information.
Need help building a targeted public relations campaign for your brand? Get in touch today with our team of PR professionals.