|Sector||Communications, Public Relations, Broadcasting|
|Challenge||To execute a creative communications campaign to launch SBS' new Digital Originals series|
|My Role||Designed the entire project (ideator, strategist, copywriter, designer)|
For the course MDIA1003: Public Relations & Advertising Foundations, I was tasked to pitch a creative public relations campaign to promote the launch of SBS’ new Digital Originals series.
You can read through the final product here.
SBS’ objectives were to:
- Increase awareness of the SBS Digital Originals initiative.
- Secure positive sentiment and advocacy for relevant screen stakeholders/community
- Deliver increase positive sentiment for the SBS brand more widely, positioning it as a leader in diversity and inclusion practices.
- SBS is a leader in authentically diverse storytelling.
- SBS has tangible pathways in place to increase the diversity of the Australia screen sector.
- SBS’ commitment to inclusion goes beyond programming.
Research is critical for any promotional campaign, using evidence to inform tactics and strategies. Therefore, it was important to understand the brand and history of SBS as a multiplatform media organisation, the key issues it faces and conducting a situational analysis.
The research I conducted revealed:
- SBS’ core mission of providing all Australians with access to high quality, culturally relevant, independent media, with diversity and inclusivity at its core.
- Its key challenges, including:
- A restricted budget which results in the inability to provide an audience demand for creative initiatives,
- The struggle to differentiate its brand with other competitors who are jumping on the diversity bandwagon,
- Inadequacy in properly targeting audiences, being too broad and general which results in a smaller audience and network share.
From this, I was able to specifically target the opportunities and challenges that SBS was facing, and purposefully tackle these through my PR campaign.
Segmenting a specific audience is crucial for a successful campaign as you can cater directly towards a specific group’s needs. The target audience for this campaign was:
Young Australians living in destitute and under-represented suburbs, specifically those in the greater western Sydney region who are involved in creative activities.
This audience was specifically chosen as this age group (12-24) is the most engaged with the arts, whose low socioeconomic status means that they face various barriers such as finances, distance and opportunity. Fostering creativity within younger people is also important to 9 out of 10 Australians, drawing from the perspective that the arts enriches life.
Objectives & Strategy
Based on SBS’ objectives, I proposed my own SMART goals for my campaign, based on the background research and target audience:
- To raise awareness of SBS Digital Originals by young Australians by 30% by January 2020.
- To increase positive sentiment and advocacy for the SBS brand through social media engagement, positioning it as a broadcasting leader in diversity and inclusion practices by June 2020.
- To increase viewership of SBS On Demand by Australian audiences by 15% by February 2020.
After defining the objectives, it was time to develop a big picture plan for how to achieve these goals: strategy.
The campaign’s strategy was:
To leverage Australians’ empathy to drive a deeper connection to SBS’ cause of diversity and inclusivity, and consequently Digital Originals.
Leveraging SBS’s strong reputation as an organisation for equal opportunity was a key strategy, especially combined with its good standing within its community and the government. This is in addition to a favourable environment due to cultural trends of increasing acceptance of diversity in people and experience.
I also developed key messages for the campaign, which are central to connecting with people and standing out in a saturated media environment.
Tactics & Evaluation
With a limited budget in mind, a cost-effective approach to tactics was necessary.
Social media is a highly affordable tactic and platform, with high accessibility to all kinds of audiences. Thus, creating the hashtag ‘#MyStoryIs’ provides affordances such as discovery, personalisation and efficiency, allowing for multi-directional communication between SBS and audiences, ultimately enhancing relationships. Using SBS’ existing channels on Facebook and Instagram would be highly opportunistic.
Another tactic was a photo instillation in a high visibility area that people can walk through, featuring portraits of the program’s participants. This would drive anticipation as well as high audience engagement, as people are literally immersed in the story.
To reach offline audiences who lack access to social media, physical posters would also be distributed.
Methods of Evaluation
Evaluating a campaign is incredibly important in measuring its success, as well as its weaknesses. Fortunately, in our era we have a plethora of tools that make data analysis so much easier.
To measure the objective of increasing awareness of Digital Originals, this would be conducted through measuring audience engagement with: hashtags, likes, comments and shares.
Evaluating comments for positive and negative messaging also allows us to identify trends, and measuring people’s attitudes and engagement.
URL tracking and measuring website traffic is also a significant sign in whether we have been effective in reaching the target audience.
This was my first time creating an entire campaign from scratch, and it definitely accentuated my interest and passion for working in PR. The flexibility of skills that are able to be translated across industries is a big factor into why I decided to pursue my degree in PR & Advertising, and it really flourished in this assignment.
This task also awakened the realisation of how important it is to work in a team, as developing a campaign is a highly intensive process, involving a wide range of people including researchers, designers, copywriters and a bit of financial savviness as well to work with budgets!
Overall, I had lots of fun working on this task and letting my creative juices flow with endless opportunity. I definitely would love to work on something similar in the future, especially with an organisation with the same strong sense of purpose and vision as SBS.