A publicity campaign tells a story People like stories... A story is the way we understand something In the theater, a story = about two hours In PR campaigns, a story = about two hours... … in five-minute bits and pieces … in headlines and bumper stickers … in photos … etc. The story is told by news media
Publicity is not Advertising Advertising = paid announcements Advertising will buy you name recognition, …but it is not a good way to tell your story Maximum control over placement, but minimum credibility Advertising = paid media Public Relations (publicity) = earned media
News media = credibility Newspaper: Third party endorsement Television: Seeing is believing Radio: The buzz is good Internet: The details How to get the news media to tell your story: Thats the essence of the PR campaign
In a PR campaign you play to win You are in a contest – Competing for share of mind Competing for credibility with editors Competing against your critics You have to win an argument
Two big questions Who is your audience? What is your message?
Who is your audience? Depends on what you want to accomplish. Ultimate audience Opinion leaders The Media Your own supporters*
What do you want to accomplish? Raise awareness Communicate a message Motivate behavior (e.g., sell something) Generate prestige (win something) Build your organization
What do we want to accomplish? (our case history will be a citywide PR campaign to publicize the 60 th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw (the Warsaw uprising of 1944)
Working toward a message PR = P roblem + R esolution What is the problem you are solving? What is the issue that needs attention? What is your personal concern? What core values are implicated? Why should everyone become interested?
Message = three parts 1.Problem/solution 2.Connect to values 3.Call to action Think of them as three sentences in a single sound bite Also as three key points to be communicated
Message = three parts 1.Problem/solution Heroism in a time of terror – sound familiar? An entire people said Lets roll. Hastened the end of the war As tragic as Troy Against great odds, a calculated risk. A heroic moment not just for Poles but for Western civilization – our finest hour The Battle of Warsaw stands alongside Stalingrad and the Normandy invasion as one of the turning points of WWII. Yet the genius and the courage of its warriors is too often overlooked
Message = three parts 2.Connect to values Sometimes heroism is greater than a single hero... Sometimes an entire people are called by history to take a stand The warriors of Warsaw rose to the challenge Remember Warsaw The Battle of Warsaw stands alongside Stalingrad and the Normandy invasion as one of the turning points of WWII. Yet the genius and the courage of its warriors is too often overlooked. Once again, Poland is at the center of the Western military alliance. We owe an eternal debt, that we can repay by honoring the 60 th anniversary of their bravery.
Message = three parts 3.Call to action You thought youd heard it all? Take a moment to learn something significant – and exciting – about World War II Join with us – share the pride & excitement The Battle of Warsaw stands alongside Stalingrad and the Normandy invasion as one of the turning points of WWII. Yet the genius and the courage of its warriors is too often overlooked. Once again, Poland is at the center of the Western military alliance. We owe an eternal debt, that we can repay by honoring them in a month of celebrations. Join with Chicagos proud and thriving Polish-American community in our commemoration of the 60 th anniversary of their bravery.
Each message part is a key point 1.Historical significance, often overlooked Fact sheets, paragraphs of information on the uprising, with reference to the 1943 Jewish uprising to avoid confusion. 2.Battle of Warsaw a triumph of the spirit An entire people united in their heroic defiance of the Nazi juggernaut, which they battled to a draw, with implications. 3.Coming soon: month of commemoration Specifics on the program, events, connections.
Message shapes all communications Press release format: –Lead (message) –Key point #1 (historical significance) –Key point #2 (values & analogies) –Key point #3 (call to join us) –Conclusion (repeat message, e.g. as quote) Similarly for pitch letter, PSA, etc.
S.W.O.T SWOT analysis: –Strengths –Weaknesses –Opportunities –Threats Requires research
What are your strengths? What do you have going for you? What makes your message compelling?... convincing?
What are your weaknesses? What are the disadvantages? What are the downsides?
What are your opportunities? Good timing?... Support of a celebrity or prominent official? Other advantages?
What are your threats? What are the challenges to the success of your message? What are the counter- messages that you might face?
PR Campaign plan outline Situation analysis (S.W.O.T.) Target audience(s) Goals (what do we hope to accomplish?) Objectives (what needs to be done?) Key messages Strategy (or Strategy/Tactics) Tactics (or Strategy/Tactics) Timeline (and two more elements well talk about later)
Situation analysis Requires research –Allow plenty of time for quality research Start with an introduction to the subject: –What are the plain facts? –What are the opportunities? –What are the strengths? –What weaknesses should we consider? –Do we face any threats or challenges?
Target Audiences Primary audiences –Readers/viewers of mass media, Chicago & suburban –Students, esp. H.S. and college; and Teachers –Opinion leaders Secondary audiences –Members of Pol.-Amer. Organizations –State & city officials, librarians, museums –Financial institutions, business community –Members of our organizations (membership building)
Goals What do we hope to accomplish These can be very specific But they are not necessarily measurable They are shared by everyone working in the campaign, and should be easily understood Examples: We want to raise awareness of the Battle of Warsaw among all Chicagoans …We want especially to inspire Polish- Americans with this heritage …We want to seize this moment to better organize Polonia youth …Or to build consensus & consortia among Pol.-Amer. organizations.
Objectives These are specific and measurable They are not a checklist or timetable, not yet These tell us whether or not we succeeded. Examples: We want a Tribune story before the June 6 CNN special on the Battle of Warsaw …local TV coverage of the Aug. 1 commemorations … Chicago Tonight feature around Aug. 30 gallery opening … Chicago Trib Magazine article prior to Sept. 16 official event … City Council resolution & town hall meeting (Aug. 1? Oct. 2?) …Library events around literature of the Battle of Warsaw …
Key messages Keep it simple, stupid …People dont like to be confused People suffer information overload …Just give me three things to remember this week People want an easy challenge … Just tell me what you want me to do With limited time, people want to have fun … This isnt going to be a waste of time is it? People dont want to feel left out … Did you hear about – ? You missed it?! You loser!
Strategy/Tactics 1.Match goals with objectives & get specific 2.Prioritize and detail the goals 3.Mentally work through every task Once Im reasonably clear on goals, I find it more useful to treat strategy and tactics together, in work plan clusters.
Strategy/ Tactics 1.Prepare for the PR campaign a)Put media lists in order b)Identify our best writers c)Do research for press kits, backgrounders d)Spokespeople identified e)Veterans of Battle of Warsaw contacted f)Veterans debriefed & evaluated for media g)PR game plan outlined
2.Pre-campaign coverage: June 6 CNN a)Call/write CNN press office to coordinate b)Contact print media – interview with veterans c)Contact TV media re interviews d)Contact radio talk shows re interviews e)Letter writing & organizational outreach to make June 6 a planning opportunity f)Other Strategy/ Tactics
Strategy/ Tactics What are some other goals/objectives?
The Timeline Organize your activities like a good stage manager Identify dates on which you plan each tactic Assign tactics (objectives) to dependable people Follow up on them Timeline can be simple: Week of May 17Contact CNN re June 6 airing Contact John Harway, Trib editor, re coverage Ask Dorothy Danners re In the Loop Week of May 24Mailing to churches re June 6 outreach Organizational meeting
Two more Campaign plan elements (the ones I said wed talk about later) Budget (money and time and resources) –An important element that you should plan to spend time & energy developing; consult a good planning text for details on this subject. Evaluation (how did we do?) –Too often, PR plans give too little attention to this element. You need to attach your objectives – and your Strategy/Tactics development – to a chart of measurable outcomes.
In your toolkit Press release Tip sheet Media alert Backgrounder Fact sheet Press kits Photos Articles Case histories Op-Ed PSAs Web pages/ CD-ROM Bio profiles Survey
Tactical maneuvers Commit to being opportunistic Come up with a unique angle on a current news story Find a local angle on a national story Offer yourself as an expert Have materials updated & ready Be always trolling for news pegs Keep an eye on the calendar
The pitch letter Start with a grabber – Little-known fact – Anecdote, human interest – Ask a provocative question – Be intriguing (but get to the point) – Be able to support every statement Show familiarity with the media outlet For TV, emphasize visual elements Be prepared with research, statistics Supply a short list of credible sources Provide brief introduction of credentials From Streetwise Complete Publicity Plans by Sandra Beckwith
Making the pitch Make the call Summarize your story effectively – You need to show how easy it is to tell Practice, practice, practice Start with the least important outlets Track the feedback Never argue your point Follow up From Streetwise Complete Publicity Plans by Sandra Beckwith
Always remember, youre telling a story Each installment of the message is another chapter or scene Always stay on message The key to penetration (reach + frequency) is Repetition Repetition Repetition Variety is always important Spokespeople must be credible