The first part of this series explored how defining project goals and objectives and identifying priorities and milestones ahead of time can add value to your PR campaign. If you missed it, you can read it here: https://www.templemerepr.co.uk/blog/how-project-management-principles-can-improve-your-pr-campaign-part-1.
In the final instalment, I’ll present a further two project management principles which, when applied effectively, can elevate your PR offering by improving structure and developing relationships – both with the client and press – and providing opportunities for continued learning and development.
The role of PR is to manage relationships and provide structure and control to help build a brand or image and spread the key messages of the client. While the client must always come first and have the last say, a PR campaign has multiple stakeholders. To ensure the success of a campaign, each stakeholder – each person who has an influence on the success of the campaign – must be managed appropriately.
Identifying those who can affect the outcome of the project is critical. This may include people within the client organisation, competitors, and client partners. It will certainly include the media. Once identified, relationships should be prioritised to ensure that each stakeholder receives a suitable level of communication which matches their influence and role within the campaign. Remember: the needs and expectations of each stakeholder will be different. Sometimes less is more.
In PR, relationships are everything. Building and managing them effectively is essential for both campaign and business success.
Reviewing outcomes and learnings
A post-project review is a standard process in the project management lifecycle. It has three main objectives: to assess if a project attained the objectives set out during the planning stage; to consider next steps and ask how further benefits can be achieved; to learn lessons for the future.
Reviewing the outcomes of a campaign provides an opportunity to outline performance to and for the client, highlighting the overall success of a campaign. What’s more, this provides an opportunity to set out next steps and future activity which can further the successes of the campaign. This stage is also important for client servicing as it summarises any questions, challenges or suggestions to ensure alignment ahead of future campaigns.
It’s also important to look beyond the client experience. Success may look different for the client and PR professional; an internal review can provide critical learnings and feedback which can inform and shape performance in future campaigns.
Part of the appeal of PR – and, for many people, the reason they enter the profession – is that it is unpredictable, exciting and fast paced. However, as professionals, we also have a duty to our clients to make success the standard, not the exception. By applying a project management framework, you can increase efficiency, standardise practices and ensure objectives are met and learnings applied for all campaigns.