In most industries, jargon is used as a shortcut for communication. PR is no different. The terms ‘PR strategy’ and ‘PR campaign’ are closely linked but often used interchangeably. However, they have very different meanings.
So what’s the difference between a strategy and a campaign in PR? When your PR agency says they have masterminded a plan for your short-term rental business, what does that actually mean? Well firstly, the strategy should be a shared agreement between your business and the PR professionals you are partnering with. This is something you are all working towards as a team – sharing knowledge, ideas and expertise.
By definition, a PR strategy is a high-level, long-term plan – think of it as your road map. Helping your strategy to succeed are your smaller PR campaigns. To design a PR strategy with the best chance of success you need to lay the groundwork first – it’s all in the research and planning stages…..
Before you do anything else, you need objectives. Just like in any other areas of business, the best objectives are SMART.
Here at Abode PR, we always agree an overall strategy with our clients at the outset of our working together, and then set clearly defined objectives. This ensures that our work is both targeted and measurable. An example of a PR objective might be: to position a CEO as a thought leader in the vacation rental industry within 2 years.
To outline objectives you first need to assess the business in its current state. If you don’t know where you are starting from, you can’t work out where you want to go. It’s important to understand the business’s target audience: their customers and potential customers. You can also gain context by conducting a SWOT analysis.
Most great PR strategies have one primary objective and a couple of secondary objectives. These keep everyone focused. You can then develop your messaging and agree what story you want to tell about your business and how you are going to tell it. This is where the creativity and energy of a PR team come into play so that they can implement a strategy and get results.
A PR strategy is crucial to generating leads, building reputation and attracting business/customers. It’s a defined plan which helps your business optimise its success in the media. So yes, strategy is vitally important, because ‘If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time’ (Zig Ziglar).
About Helen Wedgewood
Helen is an Account Manager at Abode PR, a specialist PR and content marketing agency partnering with clients operating in the international vacation and short-term rental space. www.abode-pr.com