A successful public relations campaign increases awareness within the community. That, in turn, can drive sales, attendance, donations and website traffic.
Always include a component to measure success – however that is defined – in any type of marketing campaign.
Impressions, site visits and online sales demonstrate the success of digital marketing campaigns. Redemptions of coupons and special offers measure the success of print advertising campaigns. Attendance figures validate the success of campaigns to promote events.
Calculating PR success is just as important. However, that can take time, effort and analysis. You cannot always assign hard numbers to anecdotal, intended outcomes, such as increased awareness and brand perception.
Priority Marketing has an experienced public relations team that helps businesses and nonprofit organizations achieve their desired goals. Earned media is a primary communication strategy, and the team regularly evaluates PR success. This ensures that strategies are delivering anticipated results for clients.
Case study: Sally J. Pimentel Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center
Priority Marketing began providing public relations services to the Sally J. Pimentel Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center in August 2019. Founded in 1983, the Center improves quality of life for the deaf and hard of hearing citizens and their families. Through education, advocacy and community involvement, the Center serves Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Hendry, Glades and Desoto counties.
Despite serving the region for nearly four decades, the Center lacked community recognition. The Center applied for and received a grant that allowed it to partner with Priority Marketing for professional services. Priority Marketing then developed an earned media PR Plan that included news releases, guest articles, op-eds, story pitches and television appearances. The overall objective of the PR Plan was to raise awareness and support for the Center’s programs and services.
An initial way to measure success of a PR initiative is to monitor local media. Was it picked up by local newspapers, magazines, television or radio? The Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center’s events, initiatives and honors have been featured in The News-Press, Florida Weekly, Cape Coral Daily Breeze, Charlotte Sun, Neapolitan Family and numerous additional weekly and monthly publications.
Below are some recent examples:
- Charlotte Sun: See what I mean? Portraits highlight the work of the Sally J. Pimentel Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center
- ABC7: ‘Deaf Life: Get To Know It’ raises money, awareness
- Florida Weekly: Grant will help center enlighten businesses about deaf services
- The SWFL 100: Families invited to attend sign language class
One of the most impactful media successes was a front page story in Florida Weekly: Photographer’s project increases awareness of the deaf. Florida Weekly published the story and images in its Fort Myers, Bonita Springs and Charlotte County zoned editions. That expanded reach helped to increase the story’s impact across the region.
Success Beyond Newspaper Clippings
Although we join clients in celebrating media exposure, the ultimate objective is to reach clients’ goals. Increased foot traffic, sales, donations and attendance at events are valued measures of success.
The Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center offers free weekly American Sign Language (ASL) and Deaf Culture sessions. Led by parents whose children are deaf, classes help parents and siblings learn basic ASL skills to communicate at home. Another benefit is parents have a platform to share challenges and successes with fellow participants.
Classes averaged three families per week before the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center partnered with Priority Marketing. Following an initial news release and media pitches, sessions now average nine to 10 families. The majority of participants say they learned about the Center after seeing an article in the newspaper or online. Families now represent a larger region of Southwest Florida, including southern and eastern areas, a byproduct of widespread media coverage.
The Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center often was forced to cancel its basic ASL courses because of low enrollment. However, the Center has not canceled a single course since Priority Marketing began elevating the nonprofit’s public relations efforts. In fact, the Center capped class sizes so enrollment was not too large for one instructor!
A comedy event in January, headlined by two entertainers who are deaf, raised $5,000 to support vital programs and services. The Center also received several grants that staff attribute to increased recognition within Southwest Florida’s philanthropic community.
PR Driving Digital Gains
Priority Marketing is a full-service marketing, public relations, advertising and digital marketing agency. The firm provides one core element – PR – to the Deaf & Hard of Hearing Center. It’s no coincidence that the Center’s added media exposure correlates to its tremendous digital gains.
In the past six months, the organization grew its Facebook following from 600 “likes” to nearly 1,000. The center shared a PR-generated article from Gulfshore Business, Truth of the Trade: Deaf Employees, on its social media channels. That one post reached five times as many people as an average post. In fact, it was the most successful and engaging post the Center has ever shared! Leaders of several local organizations saw that social post and article, and they are now partnering with the Center to increase awareness among their staff.
The Value of Public Relations Services
Priority Marketing has strong relationships with the media, is well-versed in PR strategy and stays ahead of the curve in the use of technology. The firm helps clients develop and improve communications strategies, secure media coverage, plan and execute special events, connect with key stakeholders and implement crisis communications plans.
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