DON’T think like a PR pro… Using measurement to grow your PR budget – part 2

So, you want more money for your PR program, and you’re preparing to meet with executives to make your request. As you work to put together a convincing argument for why PR should be granted a budget increase, there is something important you need to keep in mind: When planning your argument – don’t think like a PR pro. Instead, when the time comes to sit down with executives and talk money, you need to enter into the discussion thinking like an executive.

Executives are business-minded, and you need to be too when you propose a budget increase. That’s why getting into the right mindset prior to meeting with executives is a must.

Let’s face it, most PR professionals tend to focus on ideas, campaigns, and PR activities. And, we can be really passionate about our ideas and strategies. So, we need to remember what it is we are trying to achieve.

If you want more funding for a PR campaign, you have to sell execs on the “budget increase” and not on how cool or innovative the campaign will be. Yes, you need to have solid ideas for how you want to use additional budget dollars, and you need to be able to present those ideas in a professional way. But, you have to really focus on the business side and make sure you’re answering questions about investment returns. Do not just talk about the PR tasks you will perform.

Don’t think that just because you have some creative ideas executives will be willing to give the program a green light. They need to be assured that spending money on PR will lead to returns for the business. Honestly, one of the biggest mistakes PR professionals make when asking for a budget increase is going into the discussion and focusing on campaigns and activities. The executives don’t really care about that. What they want to know is:

  1. How you’ve already moved the needle for the company with the budget you’ve been allotted?
  2. How an increased budget will increase results – what PR output and business outcome results can you project based on a larger budget?
  3. That you understand their business concerns and can speak their language

Keeping these points in mind will help you settle in to the right “mindset” before you sit down with execs. Remember, if you don’t make it a point to take off your PR hat and look at things from the executives’ view point, you’re probably going to have a tough time selling your proposed budget increase.

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2 Responses

  1. This is right on the money (no pun intended). I saw the phrase ‘translate busyness to business’ somewhere and have been using it ever since. 🙂

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