PR pros are too in touch with their feelings

It’s true, I think a lot of PR pros are way too in touch with their feelings. Now, let me explain that statement by putting it into context – I believe PR professionals are too in touch with their feelings when it comes to evaluating PR results.

To truly evaluate and understand the success of a PR program you need something much more accurate than a feeling or a hunch. You need facts, figures, numbers, and data. Gut-feelings and instincts don’t provide a true representation of what PR has achieved. Unfortunately, too many PR professionals rely on their feelings as an indication of PR’s success, and they even base important strategy decisions on those feelings. Why? Because they don’t have a process in place to collect information and analyze results.

Consider these responses PR professionals shared when asked about how they evaluate PR:

• Barely one-third of PR practitioners say they know for certain whether or not they’re beating their competitors on the PR front.

• Less than 45 percent of PR professionals are confident they know whether their key messages are getting through.

• Just over half (56 percent) of PR professionals can determine what percentage of their coverage is business press vs. consumer press vs. trade press vs. blogs.

• Only 35 percent of PR pros can answer the question, “How often are your executives getting quoted vs. competitor executives?”

• 55% of PR pros are confident they know which of their products are getting the most coverage/visibility. The rest said they either didn’t know, or would have to guess based on instincts.

These numbers are based on real survey responses, and they clearly show that there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding PR program results. What’s interesting is that of the PR professionals that participated in this survey, only 25% were utilizing a formal PR measurement solution. Had more of these survey participants been collecting and analyzing measurement data pertaining to their PR programs, they would likely have a much better understanding of the results PR was producing. And, consequently, they’d be in a much better position to say whether they were beating their competitors, effectively communicating key messages, earning the “right” coverage, and so on.

So, while I do believe that there are plenty of times when “being in touch with your feelings” is a good thing, I think that in order to do good PR, teams should have a clear understanding of the outcomes PR is producing – and that understanding comes from measuring and analyzing data… not from feelings.

 

 

Chart depicts responses submitted by PR professionals as part of the PR and Measurement Survey

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