Public relations or PR is something that falls underneath the umbrella of marketing. It’s used to connect a company, brand or person to their target audience through communicating messages using one or several channels – including media outlets, influencers or speaker opportunities.
We’ve written before about what the role of a PR agency is but essentially public relations can be used to spread the message about a product or service, drive traffic to a website (with PR for SEO) or even be used across a long-term period to change a brand’s positioning (or public perception thereof) and change the behaviour of a specific audience.
Public relations professionals will often talk about PR campaigns and PR plans – and although the dividing lines are sometimes blurred on what makes each different, these are the main points to keep in mind:
- A PR plan is usually a more long-term and ongoing initiative, whereas a PR campaign usually has a fixed time frame attached to it – this could be anything from a single day to a full year
- Several separate PR campaigns can fall within a single PR plan to focus on and promote a particular business area or activity – perhaps a seasonal or product focus. You can see many examples of PR campaigns and stunts on PRExamples.com, that was founded by Radioactive PR’s founder, Rich Leigh
- A PR plan can include campaigns and will often include other ongoing activities as well, such as feature pitching and responding to reactive opportunities in the media
- Both plans and campaigns will essentially be put together to fulfil a set objective(s). The objectives must be identified at the beginning to set out what it is exactly that the activity seeks to achieve. The activities outlined in the PR plan or campaign will then act as the treatment to achieve these objectives
- A PR plan will usually contain within it a communications strategy. At Radioactive PR, communications strategies are usually created based on insights around the client, their target audience and industry. A strategy is an overarching approach that all tactics (PR campaigns, press office function and influencer engagement etc.) must fall within to ensure that all communications is strategic
This should give you a good introduction to the differences between PR plans and PR campaigns.
Need some support with your own PR plan or in designing a campaign? We can help you and we’d love to chat, so please get in touch!