A good public relations campaign is a multi-effort program. A single press release, public speaking engagement or event is only the most visible part of the campaign’s entirety. Weaving together the various elements in a campaign with exactly the right timing is the key to making a campaign really work to its maximum potential.
Every campaign should start with a marketing plan directed at just the immediate effort. The marketing plan should lay out each component of the effort: the message, the promotion, the event, the presentation, the follow up. Naturally, the more elaborate the campaign, the more important the planning should be.
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A campaign will build on any previous similar efforts. If your travel agency is sponsoring an event, reach out to those who have helped you in the past – the reporters, the workers and others who assisted you with the organization and promotion of the event. A smart marketer will continually maintain the relationships that have served well in the past. As a result, you will no doubt be called on to assist others in their efforts. This is a good thing. The networking inherent in assisting others is an invaluable part of your own marketing efforts.
Your plan should stage out the promotion of your event or speaking engagement. Even if the particular PR effort in question involves only a press release, the timing of the release, calls to reporters and your follow-up will all contribute to the likelihood your writing will see press coverage. Set appropriate lead times not too far in advance of the culmination, nor too close to rush preparation.
Incorporate as much free assistance as possible. If you are staging an event with another organization, utilize every offer of assistance that you can find. Whether it’s letter writing, catering, promotion…almost any task, you may find help lurking in the form of a volunteer.
About the only task you cannot delegate successfully is your follow-up. That one is too important not to monitor for yourself. Make sure that everyone involved in your event…press, workers, attendees and invitees receive a personal follow up from you. This vital final step is one of the most crucial and often neglected.
Public Relations involves periodic burst of energy, but the reality is that it is an ongoing effort for the travel agent with a marketing mindset. The costs are typically low, and the return high. Give public relations the attention it deserves. All this week, we will dig a bit deeper into the rich topic of public relations!