Marketing and PR campaigns can seem overwhelming especially if you don’t know where to start. Have no fear, follow the simple acronym RPIE. This will guide you through each step of a campaign. The acronym stands for Research, Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation. RPIE is a must for every campaign and a great way to ensure all bases are covered. Once you have the overall idea of the campaign down now it is time for RPIE. Get ready for a crash course!


Research is the first place to start and it’s my favorite part. It’s essential to gather information about your organization and your audience. Start by asking yourself these questions: Who do you want to reach with your campaign? What do you want them to do as a result of your campaign? What messages do you want to communicate through your campaign? For example, is the aim of the campaign to encourage behavior, change opinions, or increase knowledge? 

After asking these questions, you can begin looking at types of research. A survey is a relatively easy way to collect data from a large group of people efficiently. A focus group is another great way to collect more meaningful data by talking to people in your desired audience. It’s good practice to perform a few research methods to collect the most accurate data. Through these research methods, you can learn how your audience views your organization, how they consume media, or where they go grocery shopping. When thinking about research it’s also helpful to consider how much time you have, what resources you have available, and what research has already been done that you can use. See if anyone has done a campaign similar and research that as well. Once all information is collected you will have a better idea about how to move forward with the campaign and you can begin the planning process. 


The planning process involves defining your goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics. Let’s start with goals. Goals should be a basic idea of what the campaign is set out to accomplish. When thinking of goals, remember that they do not have to be super specific, we’ll get to that later. 

Next, consider your objectives of the campaign, these are focused on more specific aims. Objectives should always be SMART, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-oriented, and Time-specific. At the end of the campaign, objectives will be reviewed against the results to see if the campaign succeeded in each area. An example of a good objective is, “increase Instagram followers by 25 percent by December 31.” This is a SMART objective and it can be compared to the results at the end of the campaign.

After this, you’ll break it down to formulating strategies and tactics based on your objectives. Strategies and tactics work together to achieve objectives. Strategies serve as the road map to your objectives, they describe how you will reach your objectives. Examples of these are “enlist community influencer to…” or “position the organization as… .” Tactics are the specific elements and tools of your strategies to get the job done. They describe what you will do to reach your objectives. Examples of tactics are press releases, media pitches, social media posts, and community events. This can be confusing but remember, strategies are the how and tactics are the what.


Once the Research and Planning phases are complete now comes the fun part of Implementation. It’s time for the long-awaited excitement of executing your plan. Your strategies and tactics can now be put into place and the messages will now be disseminated through the proper communication channels. Your audience will now be reached. The most important part of this step is to monitor the campaign as it is happening. Make sure everything goes to plan and keep track of campaign milestones. Also, be sure to stay on top of any crises that may arise. 


Congratulations you’ve made it to the end! While you’re celebrating don’t forget about the last step of the process, Evaluation. Now is the time to measure your results against your objectives. See if the campaign accomplished what it set out to do. Identify ways you can improve in the future. Don’t forget to adjust any materials or messages if necessary for future use. Now that you’ve gone through RPIE you can feel confident about your campaign and your organization moving forward. Great job you just killed that campaign and now you have a step-by-step process you can count on!

Of course, if you need any help along the way, you can call us! The Dogwood team is ready to help.

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