Published On: Thu, May 5th, 2011

And the winner is – marketing and PR campaigns

By: Gerald J. Sherman

We will soon be experiencing another historic event – the presidential election in 2012.

The political campaigns have already begun. All political parties are anxious to get a positive word out to the public to get the votes. Enter marketing and public relations.

Campaigns come in various styles, designs and formats. We have political, military, recruiting campaigns to name a few. Is there a commonality that makes one campaign a success and another a failure? The secret formula is superior marketing and the secret ingredient is high-quality PR.

In 2008, the United States of America experienced the ultimate representation of marketing and PR in the political campaigns to elect a president. It was one of the most intense, complex and expensive campaign exercises we have ever experienced. To reach their goal and target markets, both parties’ strategies involved enormous research, planning, appropriating proper personnel, acquiring financial resources and executing and measuring results. During the campaign, the political teams targeted segments of the population, analyzed their needs and offered plans to solve their problems.

Gerald J. Sherman

The expenditures in these political campaigns ran into the high millions (and it is estimated that in the 2012 presidential campaign it will be in the billions). The decisions on where to spend the advertising dollars and achieving positive media coverage follow the same thinking and planning that one would do in planning any type of campaign. Timing, personnel and using the proper form of media are essential. The results of careful planning and effective implementation thereof will determine whether the campaign is successful.

The public relations campaign starts off with organizing a plan. Planning is the key to getting the job done. This planning procedure must include the goals, courses of action, funding, research and a system of measurements as an integrated approach to the campaign. The initial overview of the campaign must be spelled out with the specific goals and a plan for how to reach them.

A clear definition of what are to be the results is paramount to the whole procedure. We can look at the planning stage as a ladder with ten steps—you can’t go to the second step until you’ve stepped on the first one and got it done, you can’t go to the third until you’ve stepped on the second, and so on—which culminates at a completed campaign plan:

Step 1.  Public relations campaign overview including analysis.

Step 2.  Establish plans, goals and objectives

Step 3.  Establish target market(s)

Step 4.  Establish a budget

Step 5.  Establish strategies

Step 6.  Assign people who will participate listing specific responsibilities, functions and duties

Step 7.  Timing – establishing starting and completion times

Step 8.  Develop the message

Step 9.  Decide on how to deliver the message – TV, radio, print media, direct mail, Internet, social media

Step 10.  Develop a method to measure performance

So you see that your individual business like the business of government must incorporate these PR principles in your campaign. Presumably, some of the smartest brainpower in government is using these procedures, so why not take advantage of their knowledge and follow suit in your business?

Excerpts from the book, Fashion Public Relations, Gerald J. Sherman & Sar S. Perlman, Fairchild Publications, Division of Conde Nast, (N.Y.).

Gerald J. Sherman, of Sherman & Perlman LLC., is a marketing and public relations consultant, sales coach and author who has written several books and articles on these subjects. 561.715.2788




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