Training/Marcom Academy

Insights On PR Campaign Execution

Executing a PR campaign originates from the brief an agency gets from a client. A brief is a written or oral piece of information supplied by a client to an agency to help the client meet certain expectations or solve a problem.
It is important that briefs are written so that the agency can always make reference to it while undertaking the client’s job. Sometimes, the client may just decide to give an oral brief.
Executing a PR campaign requires some steps as stated below: 
Brainstorm session: Here, people gather to come up with ideas on the part of the agency on how to proffer solutions to what the client demands as contained in the brief. During the brainstorm session, someone particularly from the client service department takes down notes on important ideas and strategies related to the brief. This will be presented to the client in a proposal. It goes first with target audience identification, in terms of their social classes, media habits and how they unwind.
The next step is writing of proposal: 
Here, the ideas and thoughts from the brainstorm session are put in a written format. In doing this, it is always important to give your proposal an introduction/background or preamble.
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The introduction/background or preamble can be in this form: 
XYZ Company is the maker of  X3 brand of vegetable oil in Nigeria. Since its inception in 2013, brand awareness/visibility coupled with low consumer patronage has been low. Against this background, client has challenged agency to come up with a PR campaign plan that can provide brand awareness /visibility as well as attract patronage to the brand.
The proposal is followed by a budget. 
This demands a great sense of dexterity to be able to defend every item included in the budget .When the proposal with the attached budget is finally agreed by both the client and the agency, the client will issue the agency with a Payment Order (PO) which is like an Invoice authorizing the agency to go ahead and execute the campaign. This applies strictly in a Pay-As-You-Go agreement between the agency and the client. But there might be a slight difference if the agency is on a retainership account.
Now PR Campaign Execution 
Executing the campaign falls into three stages namely:
Pre Event: 
The agency can kick start the pre-event by way of holding a press conference or media conference. If this is the case, the first thing to do is to secure a venue that will be agreed upon by both the agency and the brand owner or client. After this, select journalists are invited to the press conference. The idea is for them to create awareness for the intended campaign by way of reporting. It could also take the form of a radio teaser or radio hype by a popular radio presenter. This could also be supported by Bulk SMS. We can also use the social media and blog posts. How it is done is to choose a hashtag. The hashtag has to be short, concise and unique to the event. The hashtag must be used in every tweet on twitter page, Facebook and LinkedIn etc.
During the event 
Like the case of unveiling of a new product, there must be bloggers and twitter influencers for live tweeting. Importantly, there has to be a photographer to take pictures of brand owners like the brand manager or marketing manager during the product unveiling for exploitation purposes.
PRIn an event like market activation, there must be a photographer as well to take pictures of important moments to be exploited in newspapers and other media platforms. Besides, the use of security men is equally important to maintain order at the venue against the activities of touts or Area boys (the case of Lagos). Please note that it is the nature of the brief client sends that will determine the nature of PR campaign execution strategies).
Post Event
A post event can come in different ways like a ‘thank you’ tweets, letter of appreciation for select number of people for honoring invitation in case of a
symposium. This is good for networking and building relationship.
It can also take the form of commissioned stories, photo splash, testimonial profiling, and slice of live story, online exploitation in case of product launch, or TV reality show etc. Radio interviews of winners could also be done. This is to create visibility and awareness.
Report: 
In case of market activation, report will be presented to client immediately the campaign has ended. It is expected to show what was demanded of the agency and what the agency has been able to achieve. But in case of a symposium, it is the head of the symposium committee that will do a report
and present it to the management.
Compilation: 
If it is a campaign like using an event to increase sales of a product, for instance, Maltina Dance All, when the campaign has finally ended, agency has to compile all mentions both in print, on radio/TV and online platforms as the case may be, and send to clients for reference purposes. At this point,
the campaign has ended and the agency will be waiting for payment from the client.
Campaign Evaluation: 
If agency is worth its onions, it has to embark on post campaign evaluation study. The idea is to find out whether the event was successful or not. And also to be able to identify areas of challenges during the campaign and what could be done to improve on such future campaigns.
Conclusion
To execute a PR campaign, you must first identify your target during a brainstorm session. PR campaign execution falls into three steps –Pre event, event proper and post event. Agency can kick-start pre-event by way of holding a press conference or media conference. If this is the case, the first thing to do is to secure a venue that will be agreed by both the agency and the brand owner or client. Select journalists are invited to the press conference. During the event proper – like the unveiling of a new product, there must be bloggers and twitter influencers for live tweeting. Importantly, there has to be a photographer to take pictures of the brand manager or marketing manager during the product unveiling for exploitation purposes. Post event can come in different ways like ‘thank you’ tweets, letter of appreciation for select people for honoring invitation in
case of a symposium. In case of market activation, report will be presented to client immediately the campaign has ended.
If it is a campaign like using an event to increase sales of a product for instance, Maltina Dance All, when the campaign has finally ended, agency has to compile all mentions. If the agency is worth its onions, it has to embark on post campaign evaluation study.
An assignment: 
Using 800 words, discuss five factors that may constitute hindrance to the execution of a successful PR campaign of XYZ brand of soft drink. First prize – ten thousand naira worth of recharge cards. The other two best written answers will get 3,000 naira worth of recharge cards each. Written answers should be sent to: info@brandiq.com

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