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Best Practices for a Modern PR Campaign: Review and Refine

March 23, 2023 (4 min read)
Graphic of a computer with data visualization

Once your work is live in the wild, that doesn’t mean the job is done. Modern PR campaigns are living, breathing things, with feedback incoming from a range of sources. And much like trees need sunlight, air and water to grow, your campaign needs data, analysis and refinement in order to flourish.

These efforts should go far beyond old-school media monitoring, correlating media coverage with key business outcomes and offering a deeper level of analysis and actionable insights. At LexisNexis we call this media intelligence. Let’s explore the basics of a modern media intelligence program.

Prepare before you launch

A little pre-launch legwork can help maximize the efficiency of your monitoring efforts. This doesn't just mean creating your assets and activating your campaign, but it extends to setting up your monitoring tools as well.

In your media intelligence software, create campaign specific searches that go beyond mentions of your brand name to capture other important information like hashtags and taglines.

For example, tracking coverage for Nike’s 50th Anniversary campaign wouldn’t be complete without keeping an eye on coverage that referenced the “Never Done” mantra that was used in all the brand’s ads, press releases and marketing materials. Without this information, Nike wouldn't know how the slogan was resonating with audiences, where it best performed or how to make their next move. 

In the next section, we'll dive into different ways to monitor your campaign. 

Track coverage

When tracking coverage, you need a media intelligence solution that can provide you with answers to these critical questions:

  • How much coverage have you achieved?
  • Where is coverage the coming from (including channels and geography)?
  • What’s the sentiment?
  • Is it positive, negative or neutral?

By monitoring all media types and channels, including proprietary licensed content, forums and reviews, social media, comments, podcasts, video, blogs, print media, radio, television and online news, you can get a complete picture of how your brand is being perceived holistically. When monitoring, you'll want a tool that can automatically visualize the most important data in a handy exportable format.

Social Listening

Social media is one of the busiest and loudest channels where your brand is discussed. That can make it difficult to stay on top of, but the real-time feedback on your efforts—directly from your target audiences—makes the effort well worth it. You should be mindful of not just how your key messages are resonating, but which individual tactics are making the most impact. Lean heavily into what’s landing, and if you see something that isn’t working? Fix it fast.

MORE: Best Practices for a Modern PR Campaign: Research the Industry

Report your stats with media coverage reports

Even the most successful campaigns can go underappreciated by key stakeholders if the results aren’t packaged and delivered in a compelling way.

That’s why the final step to effective media intelligence is to convert the data and learnings you collect into high-level yet actionable evaluation and insights. Most often, this means making the most persuasive case to the C-Suite possible through a combination of sound media measurement and evaluation, the right business language, and creative analytics and reporting.

For in-the-moment updates, consider creating a dashboard within your media monitoring platform that allows your team and key stakeholders to keep track of performance in real-time. It's also a good idea to schedule a media coverage newsletter that automatically distributes coverage featuring your brand and/or key campaign terms.

Refine your campaign

The modern communication landscape is always changing, with new platforms and trends developing at a moment’s notice. What that means is that no truly modern PR campaign is ever perfect. The impact of individual messages, tactics and content should not just be tracked in real-time but adapted to account for how they play out in the real world. Ask yourself: Is your key message not driving social media conversations like you hoped? It might be time to adjust it. Are reporters not interested in the angles you’re pitching? It’s time to try something else.

As you learn from the data analysis, you'll want to tweak your strategy to account for what you've found. Maybe, you'll need to change up your messaging, target other outlets or work with different stakeholders. The right next step will be apparent from your monitoring efforts. 

Set your PR campaign up for success with Nexis Media Intelligence™

A lot is asked of communication professionals these days. But still, at the heart of the work is telling the brand’s story. And you need time to focus on that: telling a story that’s authentic and relevant, and one that can cut through all the other stories to reach the brand’s ideal audience on the ideal channels. By adding Nexis Media Intelligence™ to your toolkit, you can spend less time looking for the right audience, channels and media contacts, and more time crafting the perfect pieces of marketing. We’ll lay down the roots so you can grow the tree. And what a beauty it will be