Lobbying for budget dollars

One of the many consequences of not measuring PR is that you miss out on opportunities to grow your budget. This is just one of the reasons why I say that programs suffer without measurement. Today I want to offer some suggestions for how you can use measurement to actually increase your budget. Here are a few things you can do to improve your odds when asking clients or executives to invest more money into PR:

Showcase PR’s achievements with data – Before you can convince clients or executives to stick more money into PR, you first need to prove that you are successfully managing the resources you already have. When lobbying for additional funding for your PR program, it is important to show clients and executives exactly what PR has achieved with the existing budget. This means collecting data so you’re able to clearly highlight accomplishments, and connect PR to positive business outcomes.

A common mistake is to assume that clients and execs “know” the specific ways PR is impacting business. This is a dangerous assumption. When you’re lobbying for a budget increase you can’t afford to have PR’s business contribution overlooked. Think about it, even if your executives know that PR has earned some positive results, they won’t know “PR generated 82 pieces of coverage and drove more than 47,000 page views of the website, which helped the company achieve its key business objective – 60,000 new users – within the first three months of the campaign” unless you tell them. Don’t let PR’s accomplishments go unnoticed by neglecting to include real numbers and measurement data during reporting.

Be specific – Showcasing PR achievements takes much more than just rattling off some vague points about getting some good media coverage. You won’t win respect or funding for your program with unclear PR results like, “the PR team landed coverage in the company’s targeted publications – ones that spanned from local business press to influential national publications.” This type of statement doesn’t show whether coverage increased or decreased, what outcomes resulted from the coverage, or what effect the coverage had on business. Instead, try including metrics in your reporting to make achievements more clear. You can better qualify coverage by reporting something that sounds more like, “the PR program yielded 500% more coverage than during the previous six months, which led to a sales increase of more than 300%.”

Package PR results using charts, graphs, metrics – Use visual data to confirm what you’re “telling” executives PR achieved. Pull together measurement data into clear, easy-to-understand charts and graphs so that executives can see PR results at-a-glance.

Speak the right language – Sure, clients and executives want to know that a program is meeting PR goals like securing interviews and earning coverage. But, PR outputs aren’t the only thing they care about. Clients and executives are usually much more concerned with knowing how PR results translated into business results. So, in addition to reporting things like coverage and interviews, be sure to report achievements that demonstrate sales, new business leads, and other business outcomes that are aligned with business goals.

PR Measurement is instrumental in creating successful campaigns – the type that can ultimately lead to opportunities for agencies and corporate PR departments to grow PR budgets. Using measurement data to demonstrate the value of your program enables you to position PR as a worthwhile investment that deserves additional funding.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: