How to Design Creative Public Relations Promotions

How to Design Creative Public Relations Promotions


By Eric YaverbaumIlise Benun, and Robert W. Bly

You need to promote your public relations plan, which requires some creativity. Make your public-relations promotion tactics as creative, sharp, original, and engaging as possible with these tips:

  • The media is looking for news. News, by definition, is anything that is new, different, and creative.
  • The most successful PR ideas aren’t totally unique. They may be just old ideas with a new creative slant, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re stumped for something new.
  • Don’t lose sight of who you’re creating publicity for. If you want your publicity to work, you must design your campaign from the public’s point of view, not your own.
  • Use the radio-show test. Call-in radio shows need stories that are informative and induce theaudience to strike up an interaction with the issue at hand. So if your campaign works for them, it will work for all media.
  • Tie into hot news stories. Whenever a big news event hits, you can always find coordinated support stories to use for your own publicity.
  • Tie into seasons or holidays. Try making up promotions that are appropriate for certain holidays. If you do it in a creative way, you’re almost guaranteed success.
  • Tie into an emotion. Your promotion usually works if you can make the media laugh, cry, or even feel anger.
  • Research your media. If you want to get into a certain column of the newspaper or on a specific TV program, read it or watch it every day and pay attention to the types of stories the journalists like to do. Next, fit your news item into that medium.
  • Take stock of your assets when going after the media. Never lose sight of how your product or business can be manipulated to move the public and get the attention of the media.
  • Use swaps to grab attention. A campaign that involves some sort of exchange is a popular, effective way to get publicity. Long before urban areas began sponsoring days during which people could turn in guns for cash, there were successful guns-for-sneakers campaigns. The media is very high on swaps these days, but as they become more common, the swap must become more creative and innovative.


  1. Great post. As part of most of my PR campaigns I try to weave in key partnerships that involve my clients. Everyone wants to hear about small businesses teaming up to take (not to take on) big business customers … or atleast make a scene in their respective markets.

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