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Success Recipe: Effective DIY Public Relations Campaigns Part 2

Established businesses have encountered them. Companies with good PR campaigns have survived the onslaught. Some marketing campaigns have go...

Established businesses have encountered them. Companies with good PR campaigns have survived the onslaught.

Some marketing campaigns have gone wrong resulting in some companies failing, unsure where to go or which action to take. Every business requires strategic planning, proactive response to convert the bad, negative into a positive direction. 

This can only be achieved by companies with good PR campaigns.

A clear strategy will detail whom you should target to get the message back into the right channel, and refocus your business on the path to success, once again. Let’s agree, what your customers mention about your business has a lot of bearing on your business, despite the great services that you may offer.

These are a series of carefully planned advanced activities aimed to deliver a specific goal. Unlike other activities such as ongoing publicity, these have three specific features. 

These are identifying an objective that needs to be fulfilled by a brand, a specific message that will help achieve that objective, and effectively disseminating the message to the target audience. Easier said than done. But knowing how to react will help your brand back on track.

Specific objective

An effective public relations campaign must have a clear thought-out objective. When the message is strategic, brands can effectively communicate with their respective target audiences, and achieve their set objectives.

Effective communication goes beyond writing a press release to the media or holding a press conference, they have a specific objective, offer a vital message, and target a specific audience. 

Responding to online criticism, praise, or mentions and building an SEO strategy is crucial. (Image: Pixels)

You can aim to increase a brand’s interaction by about 20 percent, utilizing chosen social media platforms, for example. In this case, these results are measurable using available monitoring tools.

Message deliverance

Here you can’t afford to be ambiguous. Clarity is a must. A clear message is needed for your communication to be effective and achieve the desired impact. The message must not only inform, but it must also influence your audience to adopt a particular action or behavior by including a call to action.

Identify your audience

Public relations campaigns might target an entire population, but they are usually audience-specific. The targeted group, for example, may be a techno-savvy age group. These are most likely to respond to your message and they are likely to purchase your products if you are selling the latest phones.

But how you respond matters and will make a difference.

Have a company spokesperson

A professional spokesperson might seem like an extra overhead until trouble knocks on your door. In some cases, this could be the CEO, although other brands engage a media personality who can present facts and information eloquently and respond to media in a respectable, calm manner, without any emotional attachment.

For a DIY, PR campaign, you automatically become the spokesperson. Silence might be golden, but not in times of a crisis. If you don’t speak, people will speak for you and develop their own story. Your communication strategy must conclusively address negative issues and proactively monitor your brand’s Google search results.

This is a must. Go through each possible worst scenario and course of action to take. You must develop an ongoing relationship with the media over the years. When things go wrong, won up, don’t attack your competitors. Responsibility takes courage. Explore or propose follow-up pieces that carry positive news, alternatively interviews that you can address burning issues.

Respond as a team

You cannot devise a strategy or build a response team when a PR crisis or negative news hits your organisation. These people must be in place before a crisis arises, this enables you to respond quickly and effectively.

When a major crisis comes, the CEO will have to respond. In worst cases, you need a crisis communicator who has the expertise to plan and execute an appropriate response. A crisis communication consultant offers an independent perspective.

What’s next?

Deploy brand ambassadors or influencers

By now you have already seen or heard of these characters. Also referred to as a corporate ambassador, the individual is contracted or employed by a company. They aim to positively represent a brand, increase awareness and sales. They portray the identity, value, and ethics of the brand as a positive spokesperson, community influencer, or opinion leader.

Community Social Responsibility (CSR)

This is a deliberate self-regulating business model that elevates a company and elevates it to be socially accountable to itself, stakeholders, and the public. This can be a way to measure your impact on society, not limited to economic and environmental issues.

It can be philanthropy or volunteer efforts that boost a brand, create bonds between employees and the company, and employees are communicated to the world through their actions. An effective CSR policy must be flexible and open to constant improvement. Assess your CSR activities and identify new targets and evaluate them.

Pay attention to your online reputation

An estimated 55 percent of the global population are social media uses at the beginning of 2021. If you are not part of the 4.33 billion users, then you need to join now. It is free. Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, and other platforms are authoritative sites with backlinks that are good for search engines. Your profile on one of them will rank you and help to push down negative news further down.

Social media platforms allow smooth two-way communication with your customers. You can use them to share good positive stories about your brand, creating a positive conversation. Social media allows you to add your contact details, location, and website for the benefit of your customers. 

Always share a link of a positive story or mention of your brand by other media outlets on your social media platform to give it a broader reach and effect. When you respond to a particular comment online, you are showing the character of the brand, company, or services, so know your bounds, there is no room for wayward comments, sarcastic or negativity. 

Always be on the lookout for what mentions your brand is receiving online.

Smear campaigns, are they legal?

With the advent of the internet, everyone, including you has an undisputed right to comment about your brand, whether positive or negative. Unfair is it? But that’s what the Article 19 of The Universal Declaration of Human Right say.

However, some of the online generated online is illegal.

a) The use of defamatory language

b) When false information is disseminated

c) Intended to injure the company’s reputation

When face with smear campaigns, how do you respond? Summon the police or go for an outright attack? Both actions might seem like logical, long-term remedies, but what about some proven strategies by respected brand experts.

Consistent SEO

The moment you rank on the first two pages of Google for your industry, your brand will automatically push down any previous negative results. Your reputation management team or agency must devise a search marketing strategy that will increase your positive content ranking, generated by you or your third parties or a selected, professional agency. Never ignore the search engine strategy, if done properly, it could restore your image or ruin it.

Investigations online

Have you been a victim of a targeted attack that you deem harmful to you or a brand? Then, hiring an online analyst to trace threats and attacks aimed at your brand. When a user review is intentionally aimed to make false claims about your company and if it may harm your reputation, then there is a need for a legal liaison to remove it.

An infrequent, unusual event gets more coverage than an ordinary, daily occurrence. Yes, that’s how the world operates, and you must be prepared to face the bad information and be ready to move on despite all the negatives that surround you. These times hurt, you also hate them but you can’t just wish them away, because they shall come, whether your business is big or small. 

Eager to know more, then follow closely, it’s easy.


Can your negative results be pushed down permanently? Yes, but it is an ongoing process. Even when you begin to notice some positive results, do not relax, you must remain active on social media and implement all the strategies discussed above. In a crisis, it is better to be right than to be fast, though speed and accuracy are both vital. 

Be on the lookout for what people or clients say about you. Responding to online criticism, praise, or mentions and building an SEO strategy is crucial. When you feel you can’t manage it yourself, it might be the right time to engage a PR professional.

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