As the buying power of women continues to soar, this powerful audience has become a primary target for PR, marketing and advertising campaigns. Today’s women aren’t just looking to purchase beauty, baby and cleaning products anymore. They are making big tickets purchases, such as cars and electronics. They are finding investment advisors and purchasing homes.

But when it comes to reaching them with a message, it’s important to know what makes women tick. If you’re developing a PR campaign that is focused on women, here are five key tips to keep in mind:

1. Know the audience

Women are complex. Every man reading this is nodding their head right now. A message that will work for a woman in Vancouver, might not work for a woman in Montreal. The same message for a woman with young children, might not work for a woman with older children or no children. How does she live? Does she have time on her hands? Is work/life balance an issue? Is she single or in a relationship? Rural or urban? You have to know the woman you want to reach, so do your research, ask these questions and be prepared to execute customized messages if you want to reach a broad female audience.

2. Keep it real

Despite the increased interest in pop culture and love of all things ‘celebrity’, the concept of citizen journalism has never been stronger. Real moms and real women are the new spokespeople. It’s one of the reasons many women are turning to blogs and Twitter feeds that are written by an average and often local woman. It’s easier to relate to someone who doesn’t have an entourage to make her look pretty or cook her perfectly balanced meals every day.

The backlash over Gwyneth Paltrow’s new cookbook is one example of a celebrity failing at trying to tell women how to live healthier. Where at the same time, Dove launches a new campaign about image using sketches of real women, and the unbelievably positive response goes viral in mere hours.

3. Get social

Social media has taken “word of mouth” to a whole new level. No longer is it just one woman, recommending something to another over the phone or in a face to face conversation. Instead, they are making the recommendation on walls and feeds, where hundreds more women can see it too. So, the importance of integrating social media into a PR campaign is even more critical for female-focused campaigns.

In fact, a 2012 Ipsos Reid survey of Canadian adults showed that women (37%) were significantly more likely than men (24%) to visit a social networking site daily. This infographic based on a Nielson report dives into the online habits of women even further, showing that women are also more likely to blog and fan/like something on Facebook. The more social the PR campaign, the more likely you are to reach women.

4. Think emotional

Targeting women with an emotional message is nothing new, but finding the right level of emotion can make or break how the brand or initiative is received by women. If it’s too bubbly and pink, or too sappy and sad, it can turn many women off. Remember, it’s not always about tugging at the heartstrings. It’s about creating a sense of connection to a brand or spokesperson and engaging women in the experience – making something matter to them and their life.

5. Be time sensitive

Women crave anything that will save them time. Tying your message to efficiency, life balance and ease is likely to be better received by women. And, make sure the messages are communicated in a way that will maximize their time to read and understand it—mobile, practical and readable while on the run.

With these tips in mind, Broad Reach has been successful reaching women through public relations.
Do you think companies are doing a good job connecting and engaging with women?

President
A leader in the Canadian public relations industry, Andrea Lekushoff has more than two decades of experience as a communications strategist and trusted advisor for some of the world’s most respected brands. Email Andrea