Gone are the days when a PR campaign meant simply trying to secure as much print or broadcast coverage as possible. There’s little place for such a single-minded approach in PR today. With so many communications channels available, a truly integrated campaign (or multi-channel campaign) maximises all of the possible channels available.
We’re all well aware now that social media is an integral part of any decent PR campaign. In some circumstances, it is the main focus. More and more activations have a digital-first approach which means collateral that can be shared across social channels is vital.
Content is key. Ahead of any successful PR campaign, there needs to be an integrated strategy that considers how the story will play out in print, on television and radio, online and across social media. We need visual assets as well as written comms – how does the story translate to video? To short and snappy clips? What sharable content can we create that helps to spread the word?
Of course, not every campaign needs to go down ALL of the potential routes. Be selective. Importantly, each tactic needs to be ticking off the PR campaign objectives.
Examples of multi-channel thinking and recent integrated campaigns
The recent launch of the latest edition of The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain utilised its healthy social media following and built the anticipation there. The followers were aware a new edition was about to be published so during launch week was poised to share the video, infographic and blogger content to promote the Guide.
This was supported with traditional media relations, a press release and imagery (which to-date has scored us six pieces of national coverage, blanket disability press coverage and more across regional and online publications).
This year’s edition launch was slightly dampened due to the coronavirus pandemic. We’re drawing out some of our original plans and there will be an influencer strategy element as well as more interactive online content, but y’know, COVID-19 has scuppered some of that somewhat.
In another recent example...
Thames Clippers was announcing it was coming back into service after shutting down for two months due to the national lock-down implemented as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Government prescribed social distancing measures, and advice to increase hand washing and wear face coverings meant that public transport use needed to change. Plus, with the whole nation having spent a lot of time at home, we needed to instil the confidence that it was safe to travel again.
This is where video comes into its own. A short video explained the new measures and demonstrated the changes in travelling by river, meaning consumers could see how easy and, more importantly, safe, the experience would be.
Alongside, images that depicted the ‘new normal’ – people travelling while wearing masks, contactless journey details etc. – were shot. This collateral, alongside the traditional press release and broadcast interview pitch, gave us scope for ensuring coverage across broadcast, print and digital outlets. You can find out more about this campaign here.
With the sheer amount of comms channels available and therefore such a fragmented audience, creating engaging and/or sharable content to reach your target consumers where they are spending their time is more important than ever.
So each campaign needs the aforementioned integrated strategy planning to ensure a cohesive execution across platforms. That way those who are watching the news report or reading the magazine feature take away the same key messages as those watching the IGTV video or using the bespoke Story filters.
As mentioned in the introduction, these are integrated campaigns at the basic PR level. In our next post on the topic, we’ll be bringing in the additional element of SEO. PR has an integral role to play in SEO, the two are intrinsically linked and we’ll talk more about how an integrated PR campaign can pay dividends in your SEO strategy.