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At the heart of every successful digital PR campaign is a thorough and comprehensive plan. Without a set of clearly defined goals, you will not be able to make a winning PR campaign, as you will not be able to identify when your campaign has achieved its targets. Your goals should also be what is steering your strategy and informing your choice for every single marketing method you employ.
Define Your Goals
For any PR campaign to be successful, it needs to have a set of defined goals. These goals should act as a guide for your PR operations, from the planning stage right through to execution, helping you stay focused and on message. Your goals will also help you to measure your progress and inform your future PR campaigns. One of the best ways to create a goal-based digital PR campaign is to use S.M.A.R.T. objectives:
Specific, what do you want to achieve?
Clearly defined objectives make it easier for every team member to understand their personal targets within the broader campaign. PR goals can include boosting brand awareness or growing a larger online audience.
The more specific you can be at this point, the better. For example, if you aim to educate your audience and create a more rewarding and authentic customer-brand relationship, then you might want to consider how you can offer your customer the most engaging content possible.
This type of content not only means writing SEO-focused on-site articles but engaging with more original forms of content too, such as a YouTube or a Cashlady-style interactive post. Using specific goals to inform your choice of digital marketing practice will help you to create a more relevant and memorable and meaningful experience for your target audience and build customer relationships that will continue once the campaign has been completed.
Measurable, how will you measure your results?
Breaking down your goals into measurable milestones during the strategy and planning stage will make it easier to target results, measure outcomes, and set target specific goals. If you are unsure about how an objective can be measured, you will need to define its purpose more clearly during the planning stage.
For example, you can work down a broad aim, such as ‘boost brand awareness’ into measurable objectives such as: increase social media following by 10% or increase traffic to your site by 25%. Main Street ROI offers some useful advice for those unsure of the best ways to measure digital marketing success.
Achievable, how can you achieve your goals within your budget?
Is your goal action-based? Can your goal be achieved within your time frame or will it take years to come to fruition? If your goal is too complicated to define, or too long term then break it down into smaller, more achievable objectives. All your aims should be achievable, clearly defined, and have measurable insights to ensure you can always track your progress.
Realistic, will you be able to reach your aims with the resources you have?
Is your goal achievable within the timeframe and budget provided? You should use information that you have from past or ongoing PR campaigns to inform your understanding of what is achievable and realistic. For example, if you previously managed to increase your social media following by 20%, will you be able to increase it by 30% in this campaign with the resources you have allotted?
This step will also inform the most appropriate practices for achieving your goals. For example, if you have a limited budget then you might want to minimize more costly expenditures, such as influencer marketing. You might choose to work with only one, very relevant influencer and then spend the rest of your time focusing on less resource-demanding practices such as SEO or on-site content.
Timed, what is your timeframe?
How specific can you make your timeframe? The more that your break up your main aim into objectives with individual timeframes, the more likely you are to achieve your goals on time. Breaking up your campaign into a sequence of defined objectives also helps team members stay focused on the task at hand.