Targeting Charitable Marketing Campaigns to Millennials:  Tips from the Front Line

I read an article on Friday about a distressing case of animal cruelty. Being the animal lover that I am, it didn’t take long for me to reach for my bank card, donate, and spread the word on social in hope that my community would do the same.

As profiling goes, I am a millennial, (and in this case) I successful fall into the generalised and researched description of behaviours, habits, and values shared by this age group. Supporting Barkley Agency research on millennial profiling, I have strong ethics when it comes to fair trade, human/ animal rights, and concerns over the future of our planet. And like many other millennials, including those surveyed by Social Chorus, I often donate to causes that move me. Such characteristics of millennials make them a very lucrative market for charities, and as such many charities have their marketing campaigns firmly fixed on this group.

Social Chorus also reports that traditional forms of marketing are not nearly as effective on media savvy millennials, charities are therefore forced to adapt their marketing campaigns to appeal to this generation, my generation. And so from Marketer to marketer and millennial to marketer, I highlight key ways charitable marketing campaigns should adapt to better appeal to millennials. I call this “tips from the front line.”

Change the wording of marketing campaigns

Millennials like to feel involved in their investments, both financially and emotionally. Changing the wording of our marketing campaigns from “donate” to “invest” completely shifts the connotation. Investments empower the audience, allowing them to feel a sense of ownership over the cause. Investments imply an ongoing relationship, going beyond “drop a pound in the tin and best be having you.” One reason for the success of many crowd funding marketing campaigns (both charitable and non-charitable) is the fact that they offer the audience the chance to become a part of something, be it a community who shares similar beliefs or an idea that they are helping bring to reality.

Content is key

Speaking of stories, it’s important to know that millennials are not investing in the charity, they’re investing in the story told about its cause. I have no idea what the charity I last donated to was called; all I care about is the fact that they’re saving the monkeys. This is a prime example of why charities should push stories that explain what investments can do for the cause. Speak in literal terms, ie. £8,000 allowed the monkeys to be fed for 3 months. This made me feel that the charity is trustworthy and authentic as they’re being transparent and realistic about the extent of what the donation can do. More so than this, stories are created to be told. Social Chorus reports that 95% of millenials say that friends are the most credible source of information, so it’s our job to encourage them to buy into the story so that our audience becomes our medium.

Community really does matter to marketing campaigns

According to The Marketer, 76% of millennials own smart phones worldwide. We’re glued to them. We can’t put them down. What if we fall behind in our group WhatsApp messages or something? We’re constantly connected to our digital communities and have so many platforms at our fingertips to connect with them that resisting this is difficult. With this in mind, marketing campaigns should be created for mobile first to reach a millennial audience. Since social media is the main vehicle for millennials, we recommend focusing charitable marketing campaigns on Facebook due to its storytelling characteristics. Moreover, by adding a hashtag to marketing campaigns, the audience can identify the story and its supporters with ease. Hashtags are also useful in causing shock wave effects whereby members of the community want to find out more as to why their friends are all posting a certain update.

Influencer Reveals All: Kate Russell on Successful PR Outreach

How do you influence an influencer? We were wondering the same thing.  So when our BrainFood roadshow recently made a stop in London this summer, we asked technology reporter and journalist Kate Russell to drop by and discuss what it takes for PR pros to get her attention—and through her, the attention of her fans and followers.

Kate Russell on Influencing the Influencer

Watch the rest of the videos in this series, including presentations from Rafe Offer (Sofar Sounds), Peter Draper (Loose Lips), and our own Jorn Lyseggen.


Why we should all be participating in Twitter Chats…

Twitter chats. What are they? Cyber debates around specific themes following designated hashtags; a community of professionals shedding light on topics in a Q&A format. An opportunity that isn’t utilised enough by companies… Hosting a Twitter chat offers a number of benefits to the host, but also a wide range of advantages for the participants too!

What can participating in Twitter chats do for us?

·         Twitter chats improve credibility around our brand:

Twitter chats provide us with a route to share tips and tricks around a well-defined theme. By participating, we have the opportunity to position ourselves as industry experts and thought leaders. If participants perceive our brand to be knowledgeable, they’re most likely to also think we’re a trustworthy and credible company.

·         Twitter chats improve brand visibility:

By participating in Twitter chats, we will inevitably be followed, retweeted or favourited, that is if our ideas are relevant and insightful! Moreover, other professionals in our industry become exposed to our brand if we participate in Twitter chats via our corporate Twitter handle. Social media monitoring tools, such as Meltwater’s Media Intelligence platform, offer us insight into how many people have seen our brand via brand impression and post click-through metrics so that we can understand the ROI from participating.

·         Twitter chats are fun:

Even if it’s a part of our work day, Twitter chats are always fun! Meltwater’s #MarketingMinds chat takes place on Friday afternoons at 3PM UK time to round up our week doing something that is both entertaining and beneficial. Most participants are laid-back and open to debate and banter, this is the time to create new ties with a large number of people and make friends with industry influencers.

·         Twitter chats can increase our community

Participating in Twitter chats can also help us to increase our following, especially if we build a bond with an influencer as we can piggy back on theirs. Meltwater provides #MarketingMinds chat wrap up blog posts each week detailing key discussions and crediting participants on their ideas. The wrap up blog is often highly shared as chat participants circulate the blog with their community, who share it with theirs and so we see a domino effect.

What not to do in Twitter chats:

·         Be silent! It’s a chat guys, join in and talk! Sure we have great ideas and opinions, but what good is that if we don’t share them? Sharing is caring.

·         Respect others thoughts. Twitter chats are a debate, so be prepared for disagreements. Disagreements don’t necessarily mean that somebody is in the right or wrong, so let others express themselves. Remember why we’re participating in the chat: to have fun, learn and meet new people- not to argue

·         Follow the rules of the chat. For example, in #MarketingMinds, we think it’s best to include the letter A (for answer), followed by the question number when responding to a question. This helps the twitter chat to flow.


4 Simple Steps to a Solid PR Pitch Strategy

PR folks love to talk strategy; which is good because it’s the single most important aspect of what we do for the organisations we represent. As we plan strategy we tend to voice our opinions and instincts, but what else should go into a solid PR strategy? What we should be discussing is how the correct mix of experience-based instinct, research and data will lead to a PR strategy that delivers measurable results. We have the instincts and experience, and if used efficiently today’s PR software will provide the research and data needed to build brilliant PR strategy.

“PR, as an industry, often comes under attack for its inability to map results back to tangible business metrics,” comments Kimberly Youngstrom, Group Vice President, MWW Public Relations. “While intuition and experience are essential, PR programs especially need the substantiation and justification that sound research and analysis can provide.” The goal of a sound PR strategy is universal: deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time. The path to building a successful PR strategy can be boiled down to four steps.

PR Strategy Step 1: Do Your Homework

Building PR strategy should start with research. In a previous post, 5 Ways to Turbocharge PR with Media Monitoring, we explored how monitoring tools enable brand, competitive and industry research – this is a great place to start.

“When developing a PR strategy, I use competitive insights to ensure my team doesn’t replicate a similar idea, creates unique messaging and finds specific audiences that aren’t currently being targeted,” adds Tanya Rynders, PR consultant. “Keeping up with media outlets that typically write about your brand or product will help you stay on top of current discussions and trends in real time.”

As we approach a new PR campaign, the use of monitoring tools to understand the micro and macro media landscape related to our pitch are important. On the macro level, monitoring tools will help us to understand our overall brand perception, our competition, industry and customer. On a micro level, we’’ll want to use our tools to research press and social media discussions about products or services similar to those we’re pitching. We need to know everything possible about the media environment we’re entering before we pick up a phone or send a single email pitch.

PR Strategy Step 2: Clearly Define Your Campaign Goal

Too often we pitch for the sake of pitching; this is not strategic. Perhaps this is because our boss’ demanded “a press release each week” or perhaps we just tried to keep an active pace, but we all know it’s useless to pitch without a clearly defined goal. All PR campaigns need a clear goal and answering these questions will help us put one together without too much pain:

  • Who is our ultimate customer?
  • What message(s) do we want to deliver to that customer?
  • What are we hoping to achieve?

With the answers to these questions we’ll be able to develop a clear, one sentence campaign goal, which will lead our messaging and outreach strategy. If we know why we’re pitching and what we are trying to achieve, the next steps to completing our PR strategy will be that much easier.

Step 3: Hone Pitch Messaging Based on Research

By now we’ve done yur research in order to better understand our customer, competition and industry environment and we’ve set a clear goal. Those two steps set us up for shaping our message.

Using a combination of research and goal, we should begin writing pitch messaging that will feel newsworthy to our target journalists, resonate with our customer and match our business objectives.

Youngstrom sums up the correlation between research and messaging nicely; “At the end of the day, great insights provide opportunities to tell unique stories that resonate with target audiences.”

A well-crafted pitch should be concise and easily digestible.  It should move our customer towards action and, as Youngstom points out, it should resonate. Once we have a first draft spend time trying to poke holes in it and share it with a colleague or two for feedback. If needed, edit, and edit some more.  By using our research and being thoughtful we’ll move on to step four with solid pitch messaging.

PR Strategy Step 4: Identify and Understand Media Targets

With our pitch messaging completed its time to decide on a distribution channel and find the journalists that will help us to reach our customer.

Determining distribution is largely based on the messaging we’ve developed. The question we need to ask is whether our message is best suited for a broadcast approach (press release) or more personal approach (individual pitching).  Does our message have mass appeal or will it get better pick up if we pitch to a more narrow, targeted list of journalists? For example, if we represent a tech firm announcing a merger with another firm we have a mass-appeal message in which case a press release may be best.  If we are the same firm announcing an upgrade to a current product our message has a more narrow appeal in which case we should focus on select journalists and influencers.

We’ll want to build our media list based on the subjects journalists in our niche are already writing about.  With the right tools it should take minutes to determine which journalists have covered our competition, industry and subject matter regardless of beat. Combine that list with journalists with whom we’ve built relationships and we’re ready to go!

In every definition of PR I have read the word “strategy” holds significant prominence; ultimately PR strategy is the foundation to campaign success. PR professionals bring to the table a strategic way of thinking about the communication between a company and its customer and it’s extremely important that we remember this as we approach every project, both small and large. If we follow the above steps and use the available PR software tools developing good strategy can be quick, painless and effective.

The History of Public Relations

Although public relations wasn’t officially a profession until more recent times, the practice has been around for thousands of years. In 50 B.C., Julius Caesar publicised his military exploits in the first known political campaign biography to convince the Romans that he would make the best head of state – a practice which is still used by political candidates today.

People have been using PR (and PR’s sister occupation, content marketing) to capture the public’s attention and spur them into action since the beginning of time (yes, I am suggesting that cavemen probably had some sort of PR campaigns). The channels have changed a bit here and there with the invention of the printing press, followed by the Internet and of course social media but the basic strategies and principles are the same.

Check out this cool infographic from Max Borges Agency to see how public relations has evolved over time.