When you create a PR campaign case study, you need to know some things in advance to make it work as it should. Some of it is really basic information that should have been researched for the product or organization long before any campaign is conceived, but just because it should have been done … doesn’t mean it was. So let’s start with the basics.
Who do you want to reach with the campaign and why? Yes, that “why” is important. Before you build an entire campaign and start sending out information to the media and your customers, are you certain that the audience you are targeting is the one who will want what you offer? If you get that small bit wrong, then you probably will waste most of the time, effort, and budget you’ve thrown into the plan.
Now, having determined the correct target, what story do you have to tell them? If social media has taught us anything, it’s that a good story can make your campaign sing … a non-existent or boring story that doesn’t mean anything to your target group will fall flat and go nowhere. As an example learned from advertising over decades. At one time, high-sugar cold breakfast cereals were a staple for Saturday mornings and cartoon time.
The kids loved the colorful commercials with memorable cartoon characters of their own … Tony the Tiger, the Fruit Loops rabbit, Cap’n Crunch to name a few. The kids pushed for the cereals, and the moms couldn’t see any real harm in kids having those treats now and then. Boxes sold. And then something happened, a wave of health consciousness and moms decided that wasn’t working anymore.
The cartoon characters stayed, but they became more buff and less cuddly. Sports and activity featured in the Saturday morning (and other times) advertisements and the cereal companies also dumped some of the sugar from the recipes. The target audience shifted from just the kids to include the moms as well, and so the stories also changed to reflect that addition.
So tell your story … include the details that will appeal to the people you want to reach letting them know … like in the example … there is now less sugar, it fuels kids for being active, sometimes it even fuels dad to get out there and be active with the kids too. Now you’ve included everyone and dad might even be happy too because he gets to enjoy a reasonable facsimile of the cereal he always loved as a kid.
Make the story unique and genuine … believable.
Now there will need to be some testing done on the message too. Don’t send your case study out to everyone immediately, run it by smaller groups that fit your target as well as some that may be adjacent to that group. Find out how it plays with them and make adjustments as needed.
A good PR campaign and the case study used with it will take time. Allow plenty of lead time to research what you don’t yet know, build your story, and then test it. Once you start to see a good result in your test groups, it’s time to release it on the world and let it soar.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.