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Create effective multi-platform campaigns

A practical guide for effective PR in the 21st century

When it comes to launching communication campaigns on different platforms, people tend to stick to what they know. They get a short list of social media outlets, google general best practices and then start sending content out into the world.

The thing is, you can never truly be sure how people use technology and social media, or where they find their news. We simply assume people will come across our content on official media outlets and social media channels, but defining the value and effect of such outlets and channels is extremely difficult.

 

Still, you need to start somewhere. And you’re in luck – you know your purpose and your audience, which means you’re already halfway there.

Find out where your audience hangs out

The times of segregated content are over. People get their information from different places in different ways, not just from the newspaper that’s dropped on their doorstep every morning. The average person uses the internet and online media in a hundred different ways in a single day. 

Think about it: sometimes you get interesting content delivered right to your inbox, other times you might pick up an item from social media or the news outlet you’ve set as your homepage. And that’s not even counting all the adverts popping up left, right and centre.

 

Think about your audience first. Then start thinking about the platforms. Once you’ve defined your various audiences, you can start trying to get into their heads and figuring out where and how they get their information. Younger generations are more likely to hang out on Instagram or Snapchat than on Facebook or the website of your local newspaper. You also need to try and find out whether they search for information or just wait for it to be offered to them.

Take a closer look at the platforms available to you

Not all media are created equal.

They’re all a little different, depending on what they’re supposed to achieve. The difference is not just in what people come to expect from using a platform.

There’s a massive difference between opt-in and opt-out platforms. On the former you choose who you want to receive information from (Facebook, LinkedIn), whereas on the latter you get immediate access to whatever people feel like sharing (Twitter, Instagram). And when people read an article on their favourite blog or major publication, they expect a completely different length and style – which should inform your press releases.

 

Also, don’t stick to one way of phrasing it. Each platform comes with its own particular lingo. A press release needs to sound newsy without being boring, Twitter gives you 140 characters so you need to keep it short and snappy, Facebook and Instagram are more geared towards sharing images and LinkedIn is an odd combination of status updates, images and long-reads.

Make sure to adjust your message to the platform you’re sharing it on.

Go beyond text                                                    

Words are amazing. They can transfer a certain idea from your head to somebody else’s in an instant. But only using words is like sending your kid out into the world without a proper education. There are so many ways to reinforce your message and make it pop out that you’d be doing yourself a disservice by not exploiting them.

 

We all know the age-old saying “images speak louder than words”. But this is only partly true. Unless you’re an amazing artist, images need to come with some form of explanation for people to truly understand what they’re about.

The truth is, your words can use images and your images can use words. It’s all about creating the mix that will have the biggest impact.

Gather your whole crew

Two minds can create more awesome content than one. The more diverse your team, the better the output, usually. So get everyone – designers, writers, PR pros, even your interns – involved in creating content and making sure your message stands out.