Tips on Executing a Campaign

PRSSA recently announced the opportunity to work on a national campaign with Starbucks as your client. These competitions are not only great learning opportunities for members who are involved in the planning and execution of the campaign, but also a way to earn money for your Chapters. But putting together a campaign for a company like Starbucks may seem overwhelming. Below are tips to help you stay focused from beginning to end:

Building your team

Selecting reliable members for your team is essential to the success of the campaign. It is better to have a team of three committed members rather than a team of four who are not as committed. Also, as a PRSSA leader, use PRSSA campaigns as a leadership training ground. By gaining the interest of freshmen and sophomores, your team will be able groom the next generation of Chapter leadership and help them advance their skills.

Use your resources

As you begin to research and plan, be sure to look at past campaigns for successes and failures. It’s important to bring creativity to any campaign, but proper research is essential to ensure you have a good grasp of what the company does and does not support. In terms of budget, be sure to plan ahead for expected and unexpected costs. You can be reimbursed up to $300 in the Starbucks campaign — be sure to use this budget wisely.

In addition, remember to involve your advisers and PRSA members, who can help you practice pitching or talk through your campaign. As you begin planning your campaign and eventually executing, pitch your ideas and your strategies to your advisers and learn from their perspective. Not only will you be able to solidify your skills, but you will also be able to practice your pitching techniques. You can also log in to the PRSA Web site and read about campaigns that have won Silver Anvil awards. You might even find a case study about your client — hint, hint.

Think strategically

Brainstorming and coming up with creative ideas can be an exciting process, but keep one thing in mind: public relations is a business-oriented function. There is always an objective, and in the case of the Starbucks campaign, it is to drive students to Starbucks events, which will lead to more sales. Asking questions such as “How can we measure this?” and “What is the goal of that tactic?” are good ways to focus your team throughout the process.

What other ideas do you have for members participating in this campaign? Any words of advice?

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