Secret #7 – Evaluate campaign success

Here is our seventh and final secret for using measurement to create winning PR strategies: Evaluate campaign success.

At key milestones throughout each of your PR campaigns – whether that’s quarterly, every six months, annually – you’ll want to schedule a meeting with your team to evaluate your progress. Bring measurement data including charts, graphs, reports, etc., to share with the team. Everyone should be prepared to help analyze the data and draw conclusions about what you’ve accomplished and what you still want to achieve. As your team reviews the collected measurement information you can begin to gauge what initiatives and activities are proving to be the most effective. Ask each team member to answer the following three questions:

1) What PR activities delivered the desired results – what worked?

2) What activities produced some results, but didn’t deliver the expected returns – what worked, but could be improved?

3) What activities produced no tangible results – what didn’t work or wasted time? 

By using the answers to these questions as a guide, you can build a list of ideas for improvement. The list will be based on the insights you’ve learned from the measurement data and your careful analysis. You’ll then be able to confidently move forward knowing that any improvements you make to your strategy are fact based and data driven.    

Repeat this evaluation process on a regular basis to make sure you’re able to recognize and respond to problems, or make course corrections when the data suggests something is not working. All too often companies declare victory when a change is complete and then let the new status quo set in. One-time change is not continuous improvement. By leveraging measurement and implementing a formal evaluation process over and over, your client-agency team will embrace continuous improvement.  In most cases it is a good idea for PR teams to meet monthly and discuss progress, even if it is on a smaller scale. 

At the end of the day, it really is all about results. Remember to showcase your results by providing the executive team with clear reports, charts, etc. that illustrate how PR directly impacted business outcomes. Then, moving forward, focus your efforts on the strategies and tactics that proved effective – discard the rest.

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