Secret #3 – Diagnose and correct problems every step of the way

Today I’m sharing our third secret for using measurement to create winning PR strategies. Secret #3 is “diagnose and correct problems every step of the way.”

Smart PR professionals use measurement to help them understand the effects of their public relations efforts. If measurement data reveals that a campaign isn’t producing desirable results then course correction is needed. Being able to recognize and respond to problems is essential to producing a campaign that accomplishes business goals.

Here’s a simple scenario that describes how measurement can lead to improvements:

Say that your diligent media outreach has landed numerous interviews for executives. The interviews go well and lead to media coverage that includes quotes from the execs. Everyone is happy and on the surface all seems well. However, your coverage analysis shows that in many cases the executives didn’t effectively communicate the desired message. Although you received positive coverage, you recognize a red flag. You can either make adjustments now or face tough questions later about why your campaign (which did earn coverage) didn’t actually achieve the desired outcomes. You make a decision and take the initiative to hold prep sessions prior to interviews in order to ensure execs are briefed with the appropriate info to keep the message on target. As a result of tracking and analyzing your PR efforts you were able to recognize a potential problem and take steps to keep your program moving toward your goals.

This example is a good reminder that PR must map to business objectives for it to be successful. Your company may be focused on increasing repeat business, attracting new customers, driving awareness for a product, gaining market share, etc. Whatever your goals, PR efforts should be focused on achieving them.  Otherwise, it’s likely your executives will be wondering what they got for their PR spend and they may lose confidence in the program.

Careful measurement and analysis of PR results helps you identify challenges and make corrections that will save you time and money. Don’t wait until you’ve lost ground or are significantly over budget before taking action. Keep your program running at an optimum level and you’ll be able to show executives results that prove your campaign positively influenced business outcomes.

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