Launching an Ad Campaign: A Step-by-Step Method for PR

Too often I see brands stumble out of the gate when it’s time to launch an ad campaign.

From cultural missteps to bad timing, brands sometimes get in their own way.  To help maximize the most important moment of a campaign launch, here are seven simple steps to kick off a successful PR effort around an ad campaign.

Make Sure PR is Present at the Creation

In an environment ripe for potential cultural missteps, PR pros can provide valuable counsel. Having PR present at the onset of a campaign to help avoid embarrassing crises is the best scenario.  Once the creative concept is developed, PR also can provide feedback on how the media (social and traditional) and the general public will react. Taking this step can avoid embarrassing press down the line.

Know Your Angle

Once communicators are confident the campaign will not be a PR disaster, it’s time to build a strong angle for pitching. PR pros should ask: Does this campaign tie into a current event? Does it assert a strong opinion? Does it resonate with a certain generation? Once you know the angle, write a pitch letter that will get an editor’s attention and generate buzz.

Develop the Pitch Strategy

Now it’s time to identify the right strategy, which will outline how the campaign will be pitched. For example, will it be pitched as an exclusive to one publication or will it be shared with multiple publications at the same time? The strategy should address the timing of the release and who will speak on behalf of the creative work.

Gather Key Assets 

Some reporters and publications have a strong preference for the format of videos and images, whether it’s a YouTube link, video file or high-resolution jpeg. Make sure you have assets in the format your media targets prefer.

Be selective about assets you share. If you have a “hero” piece — one asset that you know you want to be included in press coverage — don’t send it through with six other options. Only share assets you would like to see in the eventual coverage of the campaign.

Get the Credits Right

It’s important to make sure credits are final and accurate. Submitting incorrect credits and requesting a correction after a story is posted is a fast way to sour a relationship with a reporter.

Secure Approvals 

Have all key stakeholders signed off on the pitch? Don’t move forward with the pitch until this is done.

Pitch the Campaign

Now you are ready to pitch. Make sure key creative leaders are available to speak to the press. An easy and quick way to get media angry is to offer an executive in a pitch who's unwilling to speak with content creators.

What’s Next?

Once coverage begins to land, share the resulting articles internally and across your social media channels, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, to extend the reach of your earned media coverage.

Mark Pasetsky is founder/CEO, Mark Allen & Co.