November for me always marked the beginning of my hibernation period. There is something about the nights getting longer and colder, as well as deadlines looming, that just makes you want to stay inside with a hot chocolate and binge on your favourite programmes. Yes, I’m well aware that I may be coming across like I have square eyes, but I promise I do actually have a life too!
Like many other Brits, I was tuned into The Apprentice last night, ready for the much anticipated frustration. For this weeks task, the two teams had to launch a crowdfunding campaign for a cycling product, which involved a PR stunt designed to develop engagement on social media. To say both teams efforts were a disaster would be an understatement, with Lord Sugar’s right hand man Claude Littner expressing my same feelings: “I will eat my shorts if that gets traction on social media!”. Proving exactly why PR should be left to the professionals.
So how do we learn from this PR failure?
First things first, find out what makes your product unique and great. Now, both teams knew why their products had potential, which is why they chose them in the first place. The problem was that they failed to show the prospective funders just how unique this product was and why they simply had to invest in this brilliant piece of equipment.
The most visible part of a campaign is the social media tactics, and in this case, it would be the video the candidates took of their PR stunt to upload onto their platforms. It’s all well and good putting a video up on your page, or even running a contest, but without specific strategies or an objective in mind, then you may as well have not done anything at all. By taking the time to really understand the culture of a social media community, you allow your campaign to build it’s own community that will develop and further involvement.
There is such thing as ‘too much’ when it comes to jumping on the social media bandwagon. Social media should be approached with caution, carefully curating the campaigns aims and profile, all whilst building relationships with your publics.
Don’t lose enthusiasm. When the teams finished with the PR stunt, it became clear that all the candidates thought this was the green light to walk away from the campaign completely. In the real PR world, this wouldn’t even be an option. You know what they say, ‘it’s not over until the fat lady sings’, apply this to your own campaign and closely monitor and engage with your publics up until the very end.
But let this be a lesson to all future organisations and businesses, there is certainly more to PR than someone adding a couple of hashtags on a tweet or getting a gospel choir to sing a song about out-ear headphones!