We all know successful PR campaigns feed off good ideas, but after the excitement of creativity, how can you pick the gems that will translate from the brainstorm to reality?

Try running your best ideas through this checklist:

The aim of the game

Remember exactly what you’re trying to achieve with the campaign. What is the particular problem you are trying to solve, or opportunity you’re seeking to exploit? It’s easy to get sidetracked when thinking up ideas, especially in a group session, so it’s important to bring everything back to the end goal. Will the message be communicated clearly enough through this idea to encourage the desired change in behaviour?

Pick the audience

Arguably part of the above point, but is this idea going to resonate with the audience you need to reach with this campaign? Will it translate to the media that influences them? Your energy will be wasted if it’s used to speak to the wrong people.

But is it us?

Does the idea fit with your overall brand values and culture? It’s important that all PR campaigns work hand in hand with the wider marcoms effort across the brand. You want to present a consistent message to the market, employees, customers and prospects, and no one idea should become more important than this.

Is it actually doable?

With the strategic questions above answered satisfactorily, it’s time to turn your thoughts to the tactical. How is this going to play out? Is it realistic to expect that you’ll be able to pull this off? Where might the obstacles lie – and can you see ways around them at this stage? It’s crucial to be able forecast how a campaign will pan out from the start.

If I were a millionaire…

It might seem obvious, but will the available budget be enough to make the idea a success? If it’s going to have to be scaled down to fit with funds, will it still be a success, or would you be better to think again?

Made to measure

It’s worth giving some thought to how you’ll measure the success of the campaign at this early stage. That will give structure to the planning, as well as informing future idea generation.

Hopefully this process will have helped you select your best – and most viable – ideas. And don’t dismiss ideas that don’t make it through this list unscathed, just examine what it is about them that didn’t quite work, perhaps a little tweak will be enough to make them work.

With the ideas sorted, the basis of the campaign is in place. Now for the hard work..!

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