Earning Credibility with the C-Suite: Package PR results the right way

In addition to doing great PR, there’s an important step public relations professionals must take in order to gain support from the C-suite – packaging the results. And, as we discussed in earlier posts, that doesn’t just mean throwing together a clip book and calling it good. Smart PR pros know that conveying PR successes in a way that is meaningful to executives is vital to earning program support. In other words, to gain credibility you need to speak the language of the executives.

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Here’s a simple tip to help you prepare results for the executive team: put yourself in their shoes. If you were an executive what information would you want to know in order to evaluate the success of PR? You’d probably want to see how PR impacted the business and helped to achieve company goals. You’d want to see results defined in terms of sales, business leads, etc.

When the executive team makes a decision to spend money on PR you can bet they aren’t doing it solely to earn PR results. They don’t just want PR to generate media coverage, they want it to produce business outcomes. As you package information and campaign results for the C-Suite remember that everything you present should clearly answer this question: How is PR helping achieve business objectives? It’s a simple enough question, but too many PR pros try to answer it indirectly. They show executives page after page of results that list all of the outputs PR achieved, but they forget to connect those outputs to business outcomes.

Don’t assume that executives will look at a specific PR output, such as earning “X” number of product reviews, and be able to tell that the reviews led to an increase in widget sales. If you have data that shows a link between product reviews and an increase in the number of widgets sold, then that is the information you need to package and give to your executive team.

Failing to package results in a way that resonates with the intended audience is a huge problem in the PR industry. If you don’t get it right, you run the risk of being replaced. Don’t let executives miss seeing the value of a successful campaign just because the results were packaged poorly.

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