This is a guest post from Chloe Rowlands, Digital PR Strategist at I-COM.
When it comes to thinking creatively and ideating for a digital PR campaign, it can be difficult to know where to begin.
Many people have their own preferred methods for coming up with ideas, whether that’s with a traditional brainstorming session or some industry research, however, there are certain steps you need to include in your ideation process to ensure your campaign has a higher chance of success.
You need to consider the following things when ideating:
• What topics are relevant to your industry, audience and services/products?
• Do you have any interesting company news or product sales data that you can utilise to create a story?
• Look for inspiration either by following digital PR accounts, or looking at competitors and seeing what campaigns are doing well
• Where is your audience likely to read? This allows you to target the right publications
• Once you know which publications you want to target, spend time consuming the news via these sites so you can see what kind of stories they share, and what style they write in – this helps when it comes to pitching your idea
• What emotional response do you want to achieve with your campaign?
Evergreen and newsworthy Topics
Before any ideation session, it’s worth writing down a mix of both evergreen and topical themes that are relevant to your industry. For example, evergreen topics are ideas that never date and are regularly covered such as:
• The Kardashians
• The Weather
Topical themes are things that are being covered in the news now. Both evergreen and topical content have something in common – they have wide audiences that are interested in them, and journalists are more likely to cover the idea if it sits under one of those brackets.
A great tip would be to tie both a topical and newsworthy topic together, as this provides you with a stronger chance of coverage and offers a more unique story for journalists.
What emotional response do you want to achieve?
Before ideating for a campaign, it’s important to consider what the objectives are and also, what way do you want the piece to be received by your target audience?
For example, are you wanting to position your brand as an expert on a current, newsworthy issue? Do you want to create social media buzz or are you wanting to draw attention to something important on a serious subject but in an engaging way?
Research has shown that campaigns that evoke certain emotional responses, tend to have a higher success rate in terms of coverage and links. The top three emotions revealed were nostalgia, happiness and disgust – clearly indicating what resonates the most with audiences. Take this into consideration before starting a campaign, which emotional response best fits your brand and will help you to achieve your objectives?
One of the best ways to come up with strong campaign ideas is to follow accounts within your industry or follow the work of competitors to see what people are talking about.
There are also many different tools and resources that help make brainstorming for ideas a lot easier, from easily searching trending topics to seeing exactly when certain subjects peak in the press!
Want more on ideation and content creation? Check out these tips on creating content in-house.