Why there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in PR
A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to PR is a recipe for failure.
Just as every client is unique, so too is the PR strategy and approach you need to take to make every PR campaign a success.
Raising brand awareness is how we measure a successful PR campaign and the key to that success is tailoring your individual PR plans to connect with your clients’ target audience, match their communication goals, and tell their story to as many people as possible.
The importance of tailoring PR campaigns
PR helps promote and protect a business or organisation in a number of different ways, from boosting brand image and enhancing long-term brand exposure to minimising reputational harm in a crisis. Within that broad range of support though, it’s important to know and understand the communication goals of every client, as each one will be very different.
You might be providing PR services for a national company that has a range of announcements that suit different types of media outlets at different times.
For example, a national safety announcement that every Australian should hear would suit live crosses for national breakfast television followed by a media conference attractive for all media outlets in every state and territory. How you plan the strategy for that announcement will be very different from the strategy you plan for an important grant announcement that only affects a particular industry, for example. This might be a detailed media release that is sent to specific industry publications only.
Connecting with your target audience
Knowing your client’s target audience helps you to define your PR plan and determine the different tactics you’ll need to connect the two.
Adoni Media Communications Director, Clare Christensen, has worked extensively in PR, corporate communications as well as radio and television news and current affairs. She says: “When designing a public relations campaign, it’s not just about earning general engagement, it’s about making sure your campaign lands in the media in a way that attracts the interest of target audiences.”
“A one-size-fits-all approach that sees a standardised media release distributed to national media outlets would likely prove pointless,” she said.
“Media outlets are very tailored to their own audiences. If you’re doing a big consumer story that relates to a wide audience, you may not have to tailor it to different publications and programs, but in most cases, the language, spokespeople and statistics with each media release need to be tailored to grab the attention of whichever news outlet has the eyes and ears of your target audience.”
Ultimately, you could create the best messaging in the world and plan perfect campaign strategies but it would all be rendered useless if it never reached its target audience.
The importance of planning
“A crucial part of planning a successful PR strategy is to work out which stories to bring to which audiences to maximise the cut-through to a broader spectrum of people interested in your client,” Ms Christensen said.
“We start our relationships with our clients by asking several questions about what’s happening in the organisation, if there’s something specifically they want to raise awareness of, whether their PR needs are ongoing and require multiple story ideas, or are for a single event, like a launch, that require a central, targeted push.”
To find a variety of stories, it’s important to work closely with each client so that you become an extension of their team. Consulting on an ongoing basis helps to define your client’s communication goals to ensure every PR campaign is structured efficiently to gain maximum media exposure to help raise brand awareness. Regular contact also allows you to change tactics mid-campaign and stay up to date with things that might be happening in the company that media outlets would consider to be newsworthy.
The importance of key messaging
Key messaging is what you want your target audience to hear. It’s how you want your client’s story to be told. It’s therefore important this messaging is delivered consistently throughout a PR campaign and across all media outlets and online and social media platforms for your client.
These messages are simple and compelling and directly communicate what you want your audience to do. Whether it’s to donate to a charity, align with the opinion of a client, or perceive a business or organisation more positively.
Ms Christensen says: “Key messaging is about creating engaging, simple tag lines that anyone who is reading, listening, or watching your material can understand exactly what you stand for and what you do.”
“Successful key messages will translate across all mediums of business. What you have on your website will carry across to what you say in a media grab, to what will be used for your marketing and social media.
“If you can create key messages that have cut through, that speak to a lot of different audiences but are easily understandable, you’ve done well.”
Naturally, these key messages will be different for each client and different for each target audience. If the messaging is applicable to most audiences or similar to those of other businesses, it won’t deliver results as effectively.
Different tactics of a PR strategy
Public relations campaigns can also include many different tactics and elements. They say ‘variety is the spice of life’, well the same adage can be applied to PR. The more tactics you have at your disposal, the more adaptable your PR strategy can be to reach those target audiences.
Some tactics can include:
- Publicity events
- Localised interviews and statistics
- Media releases
- Profile pitches
- Newspaper/magazine articles
- Community sponsorship
There can be no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach in PR. Given the variety of your client goals, the different characteristics of their target audiences, and the specificities of key messaging and desired outcomes, no two campaigns could and should ever be the same.
Adoni Media has more than a decade of proven results in strategically executing PR strategies that connect businesses with their audiences. To find out how we can provide the unique value of an expertly tailored PR campaign for your company, contact us.