After quitting my job to attend graduate school in Europe, I decided that when I wasn’t attending class or spending my nights in the library, I would start traveling alone for the first time in my life.
As exciting and adventurous as this decision seemed, I quickly discovered that boarding a plane, train, or bus and venturing out into the world without a plan was not the best course of action. After a series of unfortunate events including theft, getting stranded, and exhausting my funds mid trip, I eventually learned what was needed in order to optimize my experiences.
The three components required to enjoy an amazing solo adventure – strategic planning, budgeting, and adaptability – are key in traveling and also crucial elements needed to execute a successful PR campaign.
As a solo traveler, I learned that it wasn’t enough to map out the main tourist attractions for a successful trip. I needed to carefully plan the timing of my visits (for example, some museums are closed on certain days), what tools were needed to get there, and alternatives in case anything went wrong.
Similar to when you’re traveling alone, a strategic plan could be the key to determining the success or failure of your PR campaign. You must carefully plan when to launch your campaign, what tools are needed to execute your plan, including email and social media channels, and what success looks like.
In order to truly enjoy a solo trip, creating and managing a budget is essential. From the many tourist attractions, endless shopping opportunities, amazing food, and incidentals, you must ensure that you have enough money to make the most out of your experience, but the discipline not to break the bank.
Like any travel adventure, developing a budget is necessary in a successful PR campaign, especially when you are working with partners. You’ll need to account for everything pertaining to your campaign from press distribution charges, event logistics, paid media opportunities, and more.
During my solo adventures, I imagined a perfect, stress-free trip where everything went according to my strategic plan. However, I didn’t account for bank holiday closures, lost Uber drivers, countless hunts for vegetarian restaurants, and spotty internet access.
When you are in the middle of launching your PR campaign, you must prepare for unforeseen obstacles. Anything from unfinished construction or even a pandemic like COVID-19 that takes over the news cycle for months could derail you campaign. Whether you need to change your in-person event to a virtual one or focus on social media instead of print ads, you must act quickly and make alternative plans in order to succeed.
When you plan strategically, develop and manage your budget, and adapt your plan as necessary, you have a great chance of accomplishing a successful PR campaign.