Valentine’s Day is a holiday celebrated annually on February 14 that embraces the concept of love. Every year companies strategically focus their campaigns upon Valentine’s Day to generate promotion. Just like Valentine’s Day, public relations is more like dating than you’d imagine.
Public relations practitioners use the three-step process to formulate a campaign. These three steps include planning, implementation, and evaluation. In the planning process, public relations professionals must do a thorough research of their audience and industry of their client. The better a public relations practitioner understands their client’s market will result in a more successful campaign. Just like this “public relations-ship”, in dating the better you know your partner the more fruitful your relationship will be overall. For example, everyone likes to be expressed love differently. If your partner likes to hear words of affirmation as their way of feeling love, but you never do this and try to express love to them in a different way then they will not receive it the same way. Another example would be that if someone was allergic to chocolate, you wouldn’t buy them chocolate on Valentine’s Day but instead perhaps flowers or a stuffed animal. You would give them something that suits their wants and needs. Therefore, similarly to dating you must tailor your message to your audience and think about how they will receive the message.
Cheesy pick-up lines and cliché gifts are only acceptable on Valentine’s Day. Any other day of the year they would not be received in the same manner. In the same aspect, it is important to stay far away from clichés in the public relations world. Clichés may be cute on Valentine’s Day but in public relations they are simply a fail. In order to appeal to your audience, you must come up with completely original ideas.
One example of a successful Valentine’s Day public relations campaign is the #PutYourHeartToPaper campaign. In this commercial, a same-sex couple Eugenia and Corinna express their love story and their feelings toward each other without using the word love. In public relations the theme or centralized message of the campaign is an important aspect to clearly communicate. The theme of this campaign was to “Go beyond I Love You for Valentine’s Day.” By having the couple express their feelings for each other without using the word love, this truly emphasized the idea of the campaign while also supporting all types of love. http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2015/02/04/hallmark_s_putyourhearttopaper_valentine_s_day_campaign_includes_lesbians.html
Another example of a successful Valentine’s Day campaign is the M&M’s Valentine’s Day 2017 commercial. In this commercial the red M&M has trouble expressing his love in words to his partner. The solution to this problem suggested in this commercial is to purchase customizable M&M’s for your partner to accurately express yourself. This campaign shows a true knowledge of their audience. Today’s generation is constantly being criticized for their lack of ability to communicate to each other due to technology and other societal influences. Their campaigns seeks to reach out to our generation that is characterized by this problem and they used this problem to make their product a solution. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nuwCw5qV94
Valentine’s Day may not be for everyone but it has some great public relations lessons that can be applied year-round. Happy Valentine’s Day!