It’s easy to create an effective public relations campaign if you’re working with a big budget. Money can help you buy things like: broadcast and print advertisements, radio spots,flashy promotional materials, celebrity spokespeople, image consultants, and other fancy publicity tools. But for those with smaller budgets, crafting an effective campaign requires more creativity and non-traditional thinking.
Coming up with fresh new ideas to develop image and reputation can be difficult, but if you think of a campaign as a relationship, it makes it a little bit easier. Relationships are about give and take, and so are public relations campaigns. People will take in your campaign if you give them something that they want.
Here are some cheap ways to engage your audience and publicize your campaign:
- Use Social Networking Sites Actively- Create pages and blogs specifically about your campaign and engage, engage, engage. Follow people and businesses in your industry and actively participate in conversations. Give your followers daily updates on the campaigns progress. Ask questions and respond to every person that initiates contact. Even if they just click the ‘like’ button below a picture that you post on Facebook, thank them for their participation. Give them the satisfaction of knowing that you appreciate them visiting your sites.
- Create Contests- Contests are great for attracting attention! You would be surprised how much attention a $20 gift card attracts. Announce the winning prize and contest rules on all of your social networking sites. Trivia contests, photo contests and video contests are a few that I have used in the past.
- Utilize Word-of-Mouth Advertising- Talk about your campaign to everyone! Whether it’s your hairdresser, a coworker, or the garbage man, tell them about what you’re doing. Word-of-mouth advertising is an extremely powerful tool and it’s a great way to show people that you are passionate about what you’re doing.
- Advertise Coupons- Find coupons that relate to your campaign and advertise them on your social networking sites. Relationships are about giving people what they want to get what you want. If the goal of your campaign is to raise awareness for the environment, for example, you could post coupons on your Facebook and Twitter for energy efficient light bulbs, recycling bins and natural cleaning products.
The more interested you are in your audience, the more interested they will become in you and your campaign. Don’t try to sell, just engage, understand, and connect, and your campaign will be successful!
Katelyn Chesley is a public relations entrepreneur, the founder of Katelyn Chesley PR and a graduate student at American University. She served as the Public Relations and Communications Coordinator for the New Hampshire Lakes Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting New Hampshire’s lakes. Prior to that, she publicized major events for the South Carolina Press Association and assisted with event and meeting planning for the South Carolina Democratic Caucus. To follow Katelyn Chesley PR, visit katelynchesleypr.blogspot.com, twitter.com/katelynchesley or like Katelyn Chesley PR on Facebook.