Effective PR is MANDATORY

The distinct lines once drawn between “marketing”, “advertising”, and “public relations” continues to dwindle away. I have begun to establish quite a background in the three industries and I cannot contain my excitement when I think of how the three industries have grown, and will certainly continue to evolve. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and I currently work in the advertising industry. My company name is a play on my name, Amanda, and the term “mandatory”. There are a lot of details that must be taken care of but the most important is making sure that I am not only a cut above the rest (branding myself) but also making sure that my clients have clear expectations of me that I can deliver in measurable ways. So how do you determine if a Public Relations campaign is effective?

There are numerous tangible and intangible ways to measure the effectiveness of a public relations campaign. For starters, most public relations professionals, much like any other industry, measure their success on ROI (return on investment). I want to be able to show my clients that I can deliver measurable results to show them that the money that they are investing in me and my firm, is indeed effective. I love to create content (which is why I have truly enjoyed the creation of this blog for grad school). I am a marketer and an advertiser so the web traffic that I will bring to my clients will indeed be a measurable way to prove my success. Referrals are the number one indicator of success that my clients look for. A referral is any link that sends people to the clients’ website (source: 5 Ways to Measure the Impact of a Digital PR Campaign). Referrals are so spot on because they show the exact number of traffic that was driven to the site as a result of that specific link.

Social media plays such a huge role in today’s society and I want to make sure that every single one of the clients that I partner with not only have a social media presence, but that they are also utilizing its’ capabilities to the fullest potential. Social media shares, much like referrals, measure how many people are engaging with a particular campaign. Not to mention the insightful feedback that you can get from social media is incomparable. Since not every single person will click directly on a link, social media will show how a message is resonated with not only the intended audience, but everyone else as well (which could provide marketing research as to how to reach that untapped market, but that’s a completely different conversation).

I think that the most important step in determining if a public relations campaign is effective for my clients will begin with identifying the clients’ needs. Once I know their needs, I will then be able to assess their need for me and my services and identify ways that I can be beneficial to their company, These are the KPIs (key performance indicators). If this step is done incorrectly, the campaign can be a complete disaster. A disastrous campaign can result in a bad reputation for my brand. It is also very important to create a “baseline” of data to compare prior to the launch of my public relations campaign, during, and upon the completion of the campaign. During the campaign, continue to constantly monitor all media to also gather data. There could potentially be optimizations that could be made during the public relations campaign to ensure that the campaign is performing optimally and delivering the results that the client is expecting. Sitting back and “waiting and praying” is never a good thing. I do not expect for my campaigns to perform optimally by themselves and I would expect that my clients will also expect me to be “working effectively” during the campaign as hard as I did to gain the campaign.

So with all of these ways to measure a public relations campaign, can my clients truly tell if my campaign is effective or not? I think the answer is most definitely. The famous saying goes, “you either build your dream, or work for someone else to help them build theirs.” I actually think I will get to do both, with the launch of my own marketing and public relations firm. So what is next in launching my company? I have to complete all of the legal paperwork, of course. Public Relations is like accounting, every company needs one whether it is in house or outsourced. I have already started getting clientele and I am brimming with wonderful ideas that I cannot wait to utilize with my clients. Public Relations is such a booming industry and with my strong passion and background in Marketing and Advertising, I bring “out of the box” solutions and creative ideas to my clients. My previous position at Alabama Media Group has definitely played a huge role in preparing me. I have developed outstanding knowledge of the advertising and media industries and I am definitely thankful for the opportunities and challenges that this position has provided me. Branding myself has, by far, been my favorite part in developing my company.

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