What PR Professionals Can Learn From This Girl Scout

This past President’s Day, 13-year-old Girl Scout Danielle Lei decided to set up shop outside of a San Francisco medical marijuana clinic, The Green Cross. Needless to say, her Girl Scout cookie sales skyrocketed. With the help of her mother, Lei sold over 117 boxes of cookies in just two short hours. What’s more? She sold 37 less boxes during the same two-hour period in front of a Safeway the following day.

Now how does this relate to public relations you ask? It’s all about knowing your audience and catering to their needs. More often than not, a PR campaign will be unsuccessful if an audience is not clearly determined. Knowing your audience is the basis for every other decision made in a PR campaign. What platform should you use to reach out? Would social media be effective for this campaign or would print be more helpful? Where is the best place to set up my Girl Scout cookie stand? These are questions that can only be answered by first pinpointing who your campaign is trying to reach.

Lei and her mother did that very effectively when setting out to sell their Girl Scout cookies this year. “It’s no secret that cannabis is a powerful appetite stimulant, so we knew this would be a very beneficial endeavor for the girls,” said Holli Bert, a staff member at The Green Cross, in an email to Mashable. Not only did the Leis choose a key demographic of customers, but they did so by thinking creatively.

The answer to the lofty, “So who is my audience” question, isn’t always black and white. Because that is left up to the discretion of the PR practitioner, it leaves a lot of room for interpretation. When developing a campaign, be open and flexible when determining your audience. You may be closing off your campaign to an entire demographic that could really respond to the message you are trying to convey.

Have you ever had an experience where an audience could make or break your efforts? How did you handle it? Share below!

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