Last week I wrote a piece on How To Start Your First Data Driven PR Campaign. I started thinking about how I could come up with realistic goals (for a PR campaign) that I could reach, and goals I could work towards. When certain campaigns are not going as planned, I could use those goals to adjust my outreach, and learn from data.
Having goals and access to data (from previous post), allows you to quickly change and adjust your campaign strategy when you realize that you won’t be able to meet those goals. You’re able to do this fairly quickly, and not have to wait weeks/months/years (depending on length of campaign) in order to revise your plans. It’s important to have realistic goals, since you can use them to pivot your plans when you need to.
Minimum and Outstanding Goals
I found having minimum and outstanding goals useful. The minimum goal for a particular metric is what you need to accomplish by the end of the campaign (at least). If halfway you don’t think you’re going to meet this goal, you need to adjust and revisit your campaign plan. This is so by the end of your campaign you can meet at least the minimum goal. It’s to help you gauge progress after a campaign starts.
The outstanding goals are what you aim towards. It’s what you would consider for your client a very successful campaign. It’s more to help motivate you to work towards the goal rather than something useful in measurement.
You shouldn’t change your goals once your campaign starts. You plan and finalize them before you begin your campaign. This is so you can have the results be unbiased, and you stick to your plan. If you keep changing your minimum goals on a good/bad day you won’t objectively be able to measure success at the end.
How to Find the Right Goals
So, how do you figure out what your minimum and outstanding goals should be? If you’re working on your first data driven campaign, you might not have any context or background on what these numbers should be. The minimum goals should be what you believe the campaign should at least generate. These are numbers you should work with your client to solidify.
For example, if I’m measuring the metric: Number of Sign ups to Client’s platform. I’m predicting that through the article (given readership of publication & a predicted sharing factor), I can at least generate 100 signups. This could be through looking at previous campaigns your client has run, or through your own intuitive experience working in PR. The 100 signups will now become my minimum goal.
The outstanding goal is what I want to aim towards. In this case, I think I could get 1,000 signups for my client. This is my outstanding goal.
Adjusting Your Campaign
Data is most useful to you when the campaign is still running. You’re able to see how much progress you’ve made towards your goal. It’s critical you can measure how successful your campaign is. In a measurement sense, the success of your campaign breaks down to how each of your metrics are doing. If each of your metrics are as expected (or better) then you are working towards a successful campaign. If not, you need to understand why it isn’t working and adjust your plan.
For example, you’re currently testing a particular type of message or value proposition for a particular client. You realize half way through the campaign, your approach is not getting the user sign ups that you had hoped. What do you do? You adjust your campaign, and try another messaging or value proposition that would bring in more sign ups. Maybe, a particular type of messaging works best on the audience of a particular influencer or reporter. Or, perhaps you’re better of trying to reach a different audience that would resonate with your client’s story. These adjustments are possibly by having hard metrics, and goals in mind.
However, you don’t always have to listen to the data. If you have an intuition that it might take longer for an article or a campaign to do well, you can make that call. Data is just there to assist and inform you. You make the final decision, but it allows you to test particular key propositions and audiences for your client’s story.
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