How to Plan a Digital Campaign (SMRW 2015)

Phase 1: Pre-launch

Outline your objectives

What do you want to achieve?: Build buzz, increase coverage, enable and expand client/customer/audience engagement.

Identify and locate your Target Audience: Media, journalists, bloggers, digital influencers, audiences, customers, potential clients

Identify digital platforms:

  • Owned: Your website, corporate or other blogs.
  • Bought: Advertising space etc.
  • Earned: Social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr etc


Ensure buy-in from all key stakeholders. Get everyone together to ensure a coordinated campaign and avoid duplication of effort.

People: Identify who will be involved and check whether everyone has the necessary experience or is further training required? Do you have enough people and resources?

Clearly outline roles and responsibilities.

Benchmark current situation e.g. number of followers, likes etc.


Identify digital influencers on Twitter, blogs and relevant forums and make lists exactly as you would with a press list.

Listen to what influencers are saying and identify opportunities to engage

Start building relationships with key influencers – remember to include them in your publicity plans and ensure material is available in the right format for them e.g. digital press packs, showreels, clips etc. Add them to the invitation list for screenings or events etc. and consider exclusive content or arrangements.

Create a timetable detailing exactly who is doing what.

Set up Google Alerts for relevant search terms

Agree campaign hashtag and use this on all twitter activity

Summary:  Remember P.O.S.T.

People: Assess who youʼre trying to reach. How are they using social media? Also look at your people – digital champions/skills training needed?

Objectives: Decide exactly what you want to accomplish with your campaign

Strategy: Decide how you what to achieve these goals and how to measure success

Technology: Decide which technology you want to use

Phase 2: Launch

Have your digital press packs ready and ensure simultaneous release of information to mainstream and digital media outlets.

Put search terms into Tweetdeck or Hootsuite to monitor conversations and coverage on Twitter

Use other digital tools to monitor comment threads, blogs and forums

Keep the information flowing with regular updates on Twitter, blogs etc

Engage on Twitter, ʻseed your contentʼ ie point people to information

Be ready to step in to correct misinformation and have contingency plans in place re worst case scenario

Check engagement on links/blogs you share using to see how many click-throughs youʼre getting. Also ensure that all outlets and staff use the same link.


Phase 3: Post launch and follow-up

Continue monitoring conversations and building relationships with bloggers and influencers

Ensure you have an ongoing content strategy – keep blogs coming, share clips, photos, audio etc. Think about how youʼre going to maintain interest and build community.

If the campaign ends or thereʼs an end point think about how youʼre going to wrap up. Have an exit strategy. Will you leave fans hanging or direct them to another platform?

Metrics – review the campaign stats and see if they matched your key objectives.

  • Did fans increase? More followers? Lots of engagement?
  • Donʼt forget qualitative as well as quantitative research: What was the sentiment? Did you get many RTs? Comments on blogs? Was information shared and the audience engaged?
  • Identify lessons learned and share feedback and best practice for next time.

This resource was compiled by Emma Meese from the Centre for Community Journalism (C4CJ) at Cardiff University. NUJ Training Wales runs the Social Media Roadshow Wales in partnership with C4CJ and Cult Cymru.


NUJ Training Cymru Wales