Although I graduated from college five months ago, I still remember the hardships I went through with my Public Relations 4 team as we were creating, and essentially implementing, a campaign. The semester-long project was grueling but satisfying in that I could understand the process of a public relations campaign and what it entails.
I remember applying the RACE method (research, action, communication, evaluation), along with learning the differences among objectives, goals and tactics. Now that I’m an intern at Bravo Group, an agency with a campaign-style approach to advocacy and public relations, I’m exposed to several campaigns at once and I fully understand the process because I’ve been through it before.
One of the many campaigns Bravo Group implements is Healthy Me PA in partnership with The Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, a group dedicated to the health and well-being of residents. Healthy Me PA is a digital grassroots campaign designed to become the voice of health care in Pennsylvania.
What does grassroots mean? That’s a question I’m still trying to understand. From what I could gather from Bravo, a grassroots campaign targets people at a local level rather than at the upper levels of an organization. The campaign targets consumers and health care providers to get them to understand how health policy affects them and the role their local hospitals play in achieving better health.
To meet this objective, Healthy Me PA has identified three areas of focus for the campaign. The first is to help Pennsylvanians navigate the health care system. The second is to promote healthy living and preventive care, and the third is to educate patients about how to manage chronic illnesses.
Healthy Me PA uses various digital tactics to meet its goals. These include monthly editorial calendars with new content created on a daily basis, an optimized social media posting strategy on various channels and enticing graphic content. Infographics in brand-specific colors that provide information about health care, short videos about exercising and recipe videos similar to BuzzFeed’s Tasty are posted and promoted on Facebook and Twitter.
Because of the capstone course I took in college, I can fully appreciate what Bravo Group is doing with Healthy Me PA. It’s not an easy thing to do — there’s a lot of background research, planning, and analyzing and measuring results that has to go into the campaign to make sure it’s successful. And I’ve lived through it myself.
Although I can still hear the terms RACE, ROPE, SWOT, situational analysis, Gantt chart, force field analysis and the definition of public relations echoing in my head, I’m glad my professor drilled me on these terms because I now understand the importance of them in a real campaign. I couldn’t see the importance while I was in class, but now that I’ve had a chance to see what campaigns are like in an agency, these terms have real-world applications to make a campaign successful.
Alexandra Blessing | Fall PR Bravo Group Intern, Harrisburg