Recently, I had the opportunity to go to The Communications Evolution in Vancouver hosted by
CNW, one of Canada’s top newswires. Over a delicious continental breakfast and plenty of hot coffee, I listened to the successes and failures of different PR campaigns and wanted to share some helpful tips for you to use during your next marketing push.
Creating A Strong PR Campaign
Tip #1: Make Your Message Accessible
In today’s mobile world, it can be difficult to get your message to stand out to your audience since people use so many different digital sources to get their content. Over the past three years alone, the number of smartphone users has jumped from 7 million to 19.7 million. The number of tablet owners jumped from 6 million to 9.3 million. According to comScore, there is now a clean 50/50 split between desktop and mobile usage. You’d be shocked to learn that 85% of people who own mobile phones use them before leaving bed in the morning!
With these figures it’s obvious, sculpting your message to be easily accessible on digital devices is more important than ever! A great example of what this looks like is the online radio show, AOL Rise. It is a two minute morning news segment airing every hour between 6am-9am EST featuring short headlines and news snippets. These snackable bits of information are easy to digest – exactly what consumers are looking for.
Tip #2: Create Headlines To Reel Them In
Great PR content starts with an excellent headline. It is the first and often the only thing media outlets see to draw them in. For every 10 people that see your headline, 8 of them will read the headline and 2 will make it to the article. In other words, if your content is the gift, then your headline is the wrapping paper and it better be shiny!
One headline formula I have used is trigger, keyword, and adjective to create a promise. For example, let’s look at this blog post’s headline. The trigger is “how to”, the keyword is “PR content”, the adjective is “stronger”, which equals the promise. Once the headline in place and the hook is sunk, make sure to follow up on your promise. Deliver your content in easy-to-read paragraphs that are digestible in one read.
Tip #3: Give the Audience a Story
One of my favourite sessions from The Communications Evolution was a panel discussion on content. It had a great reception from the public. WestJet’s Darren Hailes showed us several of their successful campaigns including their latest April Fools prank, Smart Seats, and their 2013 Christmas video, Real-Time Giving.
His main takeaway was that people like a good story that they can connect with easily. Once an audience is able to connect, they are more likely to share and engage with your content. His second was that people react differently depending on the social media channels – so make sure your campaign is well-suited to the channel you’d like traction on.Before you start your next public relations campaign, take some time to (re)discover how your audience likes stories delivered. If you don’t know your audience, a little bit of research can make all the difference! Remember to use a strong headline, and choose an angle that will engage your audience.
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