Using measurement to grow your PR budget – part 1

I think it is safe to say that PR professionals are always looking for a way to grow their budgets. Many in the PR industry have either faced tight budgets or cuts in recent years. As the economy shows signs of improvement, you may be hoping to add some dollars to your PR budget. But, as I’m sure you realize, being awarded more dollars for PR is not something that just “happens.” Instead, it takes hard work, some solid information, and a good amount of persuading to earn the budget increase that we’d all like to see.

Before you approach executives to ask for additional funding for your PR program, you first want to do everything possible to make it easy for them to say “YES.” So, how do you do that? Well, you start by making absolutely sure that you are maximizing your existing PR budget. After all, you can’t create a very strong case for adding to the PR budget, if you aren’t successfully managing what you already have.

Executives need to understand how PR is responsible for positively impacting the business and that it is a good investment. So, take time to review your program and make sure it IS a good investment – one that is worthy of additional funding. Executives will be more willing to entertain requests for additional resources if they have seen proof that PR is getting the most out of every single allotted dollar.

You know, a lot of clients and executives aren’t certain about what they are actually getting for their PR spend. They don’t know if a program is performing at the optimum level, or if money is being wasted. Without the absolute understanding that PR is making the most out of the existing budget, few executives will feel confident that spending additional money on PR is worth it. Clients and execs need to be assured that spending money on PR is a wise business decision.

So, get your program into perfect working order long before you plan to ask for a budget increase. That way, when the time comes to ask for more money you can point to your successful program to help make a case for funding.

Here are some ways to fine-tune your program and position PR as an essential business component that is worthy of more resources:

  • Drive efficiencies into your program – Take calculated steps to make sure that your strategy (and every PR activity) is laser focused and designed to produce specific results.
  • Use measurement information to determine what is working and what is not – Track PR efforts to gain an understanding of the areas you need to focus on most so you can accomplish the best results. Measure and analyze PR results so you can make informed decisions about how to use your budget dollars efficiently.
  • Eliminate activities that aren’t getting proven results – When data suggests that certain areas of your program are not producing results, make changes and improvements that will lead to more desirable outcomes.
  • Have a plan for dealing with distractions – If you’re going to invest time and effort into creating, executing and tracking a targeted campaign, you need to make sure your success isn’t sidetracked. So, create a plan for dealing with distractions and stick to it.
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