How to media plan your Campaign

In PR, we do so much ground work ahead of getting a campaign ready. We draft all sorts of press materials, we do briefing documents and timelines, photo calls and boiler plates. One thing that is also key to the help ensure the success of the campaign, is accurately doing your media planning.

It’s great to have all the elements lined up but if you haven’t put the same time into media planning, you might be limiting your options before you’ve even begun.

Here are 5 key steps to getting your media plan right:

  1. Work backwards

Think about the campaign in really simple terms. When do you need the coverage to land – is it tied to one specific day, or is about continuous coverage throughout a period of time? This will influence when you sell in, and to which media outlets, so will ultimately help you plan your time and resourcing to make sure you are constantly on track.

  1. Audience

Really think about your target audience:

  • What do they consume?
  • What is the best way to get to them?
  • Do you need to ensure you have video content as well as a news story to ensure the best results?

Really drill down into who you are going after as this will impact the kind of content you create, and the way you sell the story. Make the most comprehensive media list you can and then cut it back. The more refined and targeted your sell in is, the more likely you are to have success.

  1. Cut the story

If you’re selling in a news story, you know that your target will be the news desks. But if you want to increase your reach, why not take a look at the story and try cutting it up in a few different ways. You may find that rather than only going after news, you can open up travel and health sectors too, which gives you more options and opportunities to spread the story.

  1. Don’t discount regional

Regional media is an underrated tool to use. You might have a national story, but with a few additions, that same story becomes relevant to specific regions of the UK too, and regional media are always open to running content as long as it’s relevant. If you have regional specific case studies or stats, utilise these and make it clear to the publication why you have selected them and why the story is the right fit. On more than one occasion I have had a regional story that has done so well, it’s been picked up by the nationals rather than the other way around.

  1. Content is king

News stories and statistics are powerful but the way that the media is changing means not everyone will want to cover the same story, in the same way. Be prepared to create some more curated lifestyle content; tips and real life stories can add so much value to a campaign and sometimes get overlooked because they aren’t always in the news section. Having a piece on a consumer website or title is just as valuable as a news story because you are still getting the campaign message out there, and you are helping to further the reach which is ultimately what the campaign will need.

Always remember what the goal is – to bring awareness to the charity.

If you can develop a strong media strategy that is well planned and always brings it back to your key messages, you will be reaching the right audience in the right way. Plus, if things aren’t going the way you want them to, you will be in a much better position to address the problem as you will already have a strategy in place.

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