What is a DevRel Campaign?

Tessa Kriesel
Tessa Kriesel
What is a DevRel Campaign?
Photo by Melanie Deziel / Unsplash

Learn how to deliver impactful DevRel campaigns that drive results and impress stakeholders.

Developer Relations is all about creating educational content that enables developers to find success. One of the biggest wins you can learn in DevRel is to repurpose your content. For example, if you're planning to write a tutorial on how to do something, you may find yourself creating a GitHub repo to represent the code side of your tutorial, or summarizing the content in a blog post for dev.to or your organization's blog, or doing a walkthrough of your tutorial via a live stream or video.

Early in my career, I started thinking about the efficiency of my time and repurposing content, I began strategizing my deliverables in a campaign-esque way. Instead of thinking about the why, who, when, where, how of each content piece, I thought about the campaign as a whole and associated those details to the campaign instead of each individual content piece.

What Should a DevRel Campaign Include?

At a high level your campaign should cover the following areas of focus:

  • Strategy
  • Goals
  • Resources
  • Deliverables
  • Tracking Impact

Strategy

This focus area usually takes the longest and requires discovery with stakeholders across your organization. This section of your campaign is incredibly important for the approval process as well. When you can compile the following information together, you're able to exemplify the impact of your campaign to key stakeholders & approvers.

Objective

The objective should break down the why of your campaign. What problem are you trying to solve, what research have you done, and how will you solve this problem through your campaign.

Audience

It's probably pretty clear that the audience section should break down who you are targeting with your campaign and why these audiences would benefit. If you've defined personas for your Developer Relations program this section should be a breeze.

Messaging

Messaging can be quite detailed, especially if your campaign is focused around a new product offering or feature. It's incredibly important to work closely with stakeholders on messaging to ensure your entire company is representing your work in the same way. I usually break down some or all of the following areas:

  • Focus Description
  • Short Positioning Statement
  • Detailed Positioning Statement
  • Keywords
  • Value Propositions

Risks

Like all campaigns & projects, it's incredibly important to outline potentials risks early and have a plan to mitigate those risks.

Goals

If you've read Developer Relations: How to Build & Grow a Successful Developer Program then you know you need to consider your company goals as well as your developer relations program goals. You will drive the biggest impact for your company and key stakeholders by ensuring that your DevRel program goals align with your company goals, and your campaign goals align with both.

Resources

The resources focus area helps you break down exactly what you need in order for your campaign to be a success. For example, if you're a DevRel team of one, you may need support from other functions within your organization.

Budget

Will this campaign have a cost associated? Think about things like sponsorships, travel expenses, paid placement, etc. Outlining your budget early on will help you remove financial roadblocks that could occur later on.

People

Whether you're a team of one, or a team of ten, you still may need additional people resources from outside of your team. If you're considering an external party like a contractor or agency, start planning early as you may have to work through a longer approval process with your finance or legal team.

Tooling

Oftentimes we have the tooling we need to deliver an impactful campaign if your DevRel program has been established for a while. However, ensure that you're thinking about every detail here and if there is a new tool you may need, it's better to define this early on. Clearly defining your tooling needs makes it clear to your approving stakeholders that a procurement process may need to take place.

Approvals

All three of the areas outlined above usually require some form of an approval process—your entire campaign may include some form of an approval process. It's incredibly important to outline who you need approval from and for what areas as early as possible. If you're at a larger organization, your approval process may take 30+ days, while at an early-stage startup you may be able to work through this in a matter of days.

Deliverables

Now it's time for the fun part! You're ready to define the deliverables that you're planning to complete with your campaign.

For each deliverable, you need to pull together the following details:

  • Title of deliverable
  • Type (Blog, webinar, code repo, etc.)
  • Description of deliverable
  • Dates (Ideation to Launch)
  • Channel
  • Call to action — what action do you want the user to take?
  • Metrics to track

I also like to pull together the major milestones as well as deadlines. Project management tools like Trello, Airtable, and Asana are really good at covering this area. I leverage Airtable and like to embed a view right inside of my campaign strategy for stakeholders to review and continually reference.

Tracking Impact

You've strategized the campaign and your deliverables are out into the world, congrats! 🎉  Now it's time to ensure you're tracking the impact of your campaign overall as well as each individual deliverable and how they are accomplishing the goals that you outlined early on. You can create custom dashboards through your community tracking tools like Orbit or Commsor or leverage an Airtable interface.

Example of tracking your campaign goals

Additional Resources

Campaign Strategy Template

I've created a DevRel Campaign Strategy Template via Google Docs as well as a GitHub repo that folks can contribute to, or fork and share the version they prefer.

Developer Relations Campaign Strategy Template

A detailed template that helps you outline and strategize your DevRel campaigns. Covering high-level areas around Strategy, Goals, Resources, Deliverables, & Tracking Success.

Download Template

Learn Program

Devocate Learn is a new offering we're launching in 2022. If you're looking to dive deeper into better understanding how to deliver impactful DevRel campaigns you can go through our Learn program that launches on January 10th, 2022. Devocate Pro members receive access to all Learn programs, among many other impactful benefits.

Building a DevRel Campaign—Ideation to Impact

Learn how to deliver impactful DevRel campaigns that drive results and impress stakeholders. This program includes a course, book with worksheets, pre-written content templates, and tooling templates. Everything you need to deliver a successful DevRel campaign. Available January 10th, 2022.

We walk you through discovery & strategy, planning & launching, and tracking & reporting of your campaigns, including templates & tools.

Access this Learn program



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