The PR world no longer relies on media coverage like the simple days of old. Success now also hangs on the ability to create something that social media can take under its wing and run with.
Anyone with a smart phone and wifi can now become a creator and curator of content. The audience has rapidly become today’s publisher as well as consumer, so getting them behind a campaign has never been more important for amplifying results.
Over the past six months, we’ve worked alongside John Lewis to bring its newest flagship shop to Birmingham’s Grand Central. After two successful creative campaigns to help launch the store, we’ve distilled those hard won lessons into some top tips.
Here, Story Comms account executive Sophie Drake discusses the four golden rules to remember when looking to get content shared, talked about and loved…
#1 Have a good story to tell
Good contacts, networks and relationships all become redundant if there isn’t something exciting and new to share with the world. Your content doesn’t stand a chance of being embraced if it isn’t interesting, educational, fun or never seen before. It has to be special for someone to endorse it on their own networks.
The John Lewis #Brumscape campaign featured a first for Birmingham – the biggest photograph ever taken of the city. It was something that had never been seen before. This, combined with some super stats about the production of the photo, got people talking and sharing over 5,000 times.
#2 Do your research
Sending out content without knowing who, where, why and how you are sending it is like shooting in the dark. To make sure #ForwardBirmingham, the stunning video about Birmingham, hit its mark, Story carried out in depth research into Birmingham and its networks. The aim was to get the community proud of the city and our findings pointed towards no better way to do so, to have the very same people in the film!
Birmingham also has a vast Twitter community. Real people connect and talk about the city daily, and many of these are people that really care about Birmingham such as Brumpic, I Choose, BrumHour and Birmingham Updates. To become victorious with a campaign, its vital to know, talk to and support the existing champions. #ForwardBirmingham trended number one in Birmingham less than one hour after its launch and trended number one in the UK after two hours.
#3 Be prepared to release control – it’s a true test of emphatic content sharing
Prepare, spend days on campaigning, speaking to contacts, briefing the media and planning until the cows come home. Then share the content. The rest of the story is mostly up to the rest of them, and if the job is done well and the content matches the hard work and preparation, the rewards can come flowing in.
#4 Go beyond the screen, connect with the person first
To connect with people on a deeper level, there needs to be a personal element. This is what gets audiences sharing, liking and creating about a campaign. Both #Brumscape and #ForwardBirmingham represented a city that people are passionate about. The former won people over by inviting them to engage and find something personal to them within the image, the latter provided an uplifting and real edit of the city and its direction, something for them to be proud of.