September marked a memorable milestone in my career; I was given the opportunity to work on my very first PR campaign.
Entrusted with the responsibility of bringing a client’s vision to life was undoubtedly a daunting one, however seeing my plans put into action was a truly rewarding experience. My contribution to the campaign not only improved my knowledge on how the process works but also public relations overall.
Here is what I learnt –
Research is the unsung hero of PR
Press releases, content writing and social media maybe pillars of Public Relations, but it is research that lays the foundation for everything we do.
From initial planning stages to execution, every effective PR campaign must have research at the forefront of all decision making. Overlooking the importance of it can lead to unwanted repercussions and essentially damage a brands reputation.
In contrast, when done correctly, research provides countless benefits. It is not only a vital tool for targeting the right audiences, influencers and journalists, research also helps to prepare for all eventualities that may or may not occur.
Every decision in PR is accompanied with better and worse options. Research is what helps to determine which approach is most appropriate.
Ideas are always welcome
Regardless of how big or small a campaign may be, new and creative ideas are always appreciated.
Although expressing ideas as a PR newbie was slightly intimidating, I soon recognised that the team at Open Comms encouraged original thoughts and valued all suggestions. The philosophy here is that no idea is a bad idea.
PR requires out of the box thinking and notions that gain attraction. Ideas can be expanded, reduced and inspire other ideas. So, simply because a suggestion may see farfetched or perhaps not big enough, are not reasons as to why it should not be expressed.
Expect the unexpected and prepare for the worst
While no one wants to fixate on all the things that could go wrong, an effective campaign is one that evaluates all negative possibilities and is equipped to respond accordingly.
Operating in an especially unpredictable world, it is essential to prepare for the what ifs. Without correct preparation and planning in place, a campaign cannot cope or adapt to challenging situations. Whereas covering every outcome (with a HEAP of creativity) has the potential to minimise any negative impact on a client.
I have always known that a client’s reputation is the number one priority in PR but now I also understand that for this to be true, risk management and robust scenario planning are key.