Spot the Difference: How to Achieve PR Wins Through Campaigns and PR Plans

New to the PR field? As PR pros, we’ve got you covered with learning the basics. Similar yet different, both a campaign and plan produce identical end goal: WINS.

A PR campaign is a strategic way of marketing your brand to a wider target audience. There are various types of marketing, but the rising leader is influencer-based marketing practices. Currently, influencer marketing is seen to be the top tier strategy used in PR today for numerous reasons: it’s authentic, smart, and engaging.

Influencers, also known as key opinion leaders (KOLs), are the best brand ambassadors of today; basically, influencers are the new celebrities. Fun fact: these are regular people similarly to you and I, who blend in seamlessly with the greater public. The difference: they resonate with a specific niche of individuals on social media who share similar interests. According to Forbes, Influencer marketing has proven to “attract and retain customers on a long-term basis” as these individuals are already trusted through their community of followers online (Forbes).

In short, a PR campaign is a conversation to the public. This is a strategic key moment that helps a brand achieve its main objective. This can be seen through publicity for their featured product, event, or activity. Campaigns are usually timely and has key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the campaign to analyze the overall objective set to reach.

Think: What does this win look like in the end? Does your brand want to increase sales, create traffic to their site or raise awareness on a product? Successful campaigns include “[key messages] for your intended audience, [understanding] the right channels for your messaging and [knowing] your competitors” (Meltwater).

As PR professionals, we focus on making sure we are extensions of the brands we represent and support. While planning and brainstorming how to create a creative campaign, at FAULHABER we continuously think outside of the box with our entrepreneurial mindsets. We identify the key target audience and build out what they might look like and how we can deliver an effective message to them in the best way to resonate with them.

Think: What’s their most used social platform? How can this campaign reach this target audience effectively and spread throughout their circle? The campaign’s aim is to educate and inform audiences about the brand in a fresh way with no added pressure related to the main objectives outlined by the client.

For example, for Artist Project, FAULHABER successfully launched an exclusive, yet intimate behind the scenes preview of featured artists from the fair. Sourcing micro-influencers to visit artists and tour their studio space, the influencers captured social content about their art, learning their muse, and building a relationship with the artists. These influencers were artists themselves, which perfectly aligned with their social media followers, who are also interested in the arts and in the end would ideally visit Artist Project.

A notable influencer on TikTok, documented a walk-through of the space, creating excitement and curiosity within the city for opening day. By having a campaign solely with artistic influencers spreading visibility for the event on their social channels, the interest for the fair had risen and generated more awareness for the return of the fair after the hiatus due to COVID-19.

Now, you might wonder how a campaign differs from a PR plan. While both involve creativity, planning and coordination, a PR plan is all of the heavy lifting of creating successful brand moments. This includes all the long-term strategies, goals, and activities of the brand and how the PR team can help execute and bring these ideas to life in the best way possible. Plans are detailed and ongoing as new initiatives may formulate or weaknesses may appear, acting as a temporary barrier to processes.

Think: Always be a step ahead at knowing what’s going on within the media landscape; what’s been overdone? How can we create dynamic, yet memorable moments that form media wins?

This is why client communication is key when developing a clear plan. Never be afraid to be vocal with your client, it’s key to remember that we are all one team with one goal to achieve. Always check in with your clients with updates and ask for feedback on every activity produced to see if the client is still aligned with the plan or has feedback to improve a specific area. Once clients can see that their extended team of experts are on their side, trust is formed, and relationships become stronger to ensure we are long-lasting partners.

By knowing the key differences between a campaign and a PR plan, this helps deliver options to your clients for more ways to maximize their products or services in the most effective ways that leave a memorable mark in the public eye.