September 14, 2023

What Makes a Successful Marketing and Public Relations Campaign

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be back in San Diego! It has been a wild ride returning, but I’m here and I’m grateful. One thing that is clearer than ever is how important community is to me. It’s really everything. There’s nothing like seeing familiar faces everywhere you turn. I was raised in a household that got involved in community, so it’s no surprise to me that Olive specializes in communities and neighborhoods. We first started working in Little Italy back in 2013 and it has been a beautiful 10 years. When I first started working with Little Italy, I had lived there for five years, and I basked in the joy of the neighborhood. When I moved there, I was really just chasing my dream condo and walks on the Bay and I cried tears of joy daily for the first two weeks discovering what I had accidentally stumbled upon. It was magic… from watching the fishermen pull in their catch on my morning run to the ships pulling in and out of the Bay, the Italian men playing cards streetside, the cafes, the restaurants… it was limited back then, but it was still already something special. I remember when we met the board, I was about eight months pregnant with my son Otto and so excited about life. It has meant so much to me over the years to be a part of such a special place.

Fast forward to today and now Olive represents Arts District at Liberty Station, Downtown Chula Vista, East Village, Downtown Redwood City, Downtown Hayward, and over the years, we have worked with many more. We love communities. 

Supporting communities with marketing and public relations is so fun because we get to tell a story about community, we get to bring people together in community, and the result is happy people – residents, business owners, and visitors – everyone wins.

People always ask me, what makes a campaign successful? Here are the top twelve things that I think it takes to create a powerful campaign in today’s landscape:


  1. You have to know your audience. You don’t have to be all things to all people. You have to know who you are really trying to reach.
  2. You have to create real connection. In a world of infinite possibilities, you have to really develop a special relationship with your target consumer.
  3. You need to be creative. There is a lot of noise out there… so many places to go and if you want to stand out, you gotta bring the creativity.
  4. You can’t depend on one marketing tool. Social media can’t be your only tool. Media relations can’t stand alone like it used to. You can’t just pass out fliers. You need to do all the things… you need to start with a strategy and then go for it. You need to have locked-in messaging and then deliver it in all the ways that will reach your audience.
  5. You need to have a strong story to share with media. Just telling the media about an event will land you in the calendar only… you want to be in the calendar hence number 4, but you want a feature too. You also need to deliver a strong tv segment idea while you are at it, but don’t make the media figure out your story… they will just focus on someone else who is doing their homework.
  6. Your social media needs to be fun and connected. By connected, I mean connect with the community and the influencers. You don’t have to go after the big social media stars… I’m talking about the other businesses who are doing it right. “The rising tide lifts all boats.” Don’t be afraid to share and collaborate.
  7. Your email marketing needs to be on point – not too often and not too seldom and not too wordy… Speak to your people – right to their heart.
  8. Make sure your events are in alignment with your audience. If your target audience values family first and foremost, then a family direction is the way you go. It takes time to change large groups or communities, so you need to take it slow.
  9. Don’t forget to go old school… grassroots will always have a place. Make your flyers and posters beautiful and get them in the right places.
  10. Cross promote… if your event will bring value to someone else, find a way to create a cross promotion where everyone wins. Not only does it help build relationships, but it helps you reach new audiences.
  11. Direct outreach… Another old school tool that will always have a place. Create a list of everyone in your network who might be a great partner. Then, create a list of everyone who you would like to connect with and go after all of them. You can’t get a yes if you don’t ask.
  12. Advertise. Don’t one-off advertise though. Plan out your whole year and consider all the events and things you want to promote and connect with media and digital platforms to come up with a bigger strategy. You will always save money when you buy in bulk or commit long term. There are so many new digital advertising platforms and tools that make targeting your customer magical. Do the research and learn about the options that will work for you.


It really takes all the things these days. One easy way to start is to simply ask yourself how you consume information and make choices, especially if you fall into the target group. Survey your clients or community and let them tell you how they can be reached. The whole process can be fun!

Please let us know if we can help you develop a strategy that brings you the success you are looking for. Click here to send us a message.