Moving forward with measurement

If you’ve read this blog before then you may know that one of the reasons I’m so passionate about PR measurement is because I believe it is the best way to prove PR’s value and business impact. News from last week’s European Summit on Measurement shows some of the key areas of PR measurement the industry has identified as priorities for the future. I’m excited to see that such a high importance has been placed on these particular areas: measuring the ROI of PR, adopting global standards for social media measurement, making measurement standard for PR programs, and educating clients on measurement. Putting an emphasis on these areas will undoubtedly help propel measurement to become more widely adopted. And that will lead to better PR and more satisfied clients.

Clients expect PR teams to: 

  • Show whether or not they are beating their competitors on the PR front
  • Advise executives as to whether or not their key messages are getting through
  • Identify which stakeholders – investors, prospects, customers, partners – are being reached through PR
  • Explain how PR is driving sales and moving the needle

Measuring the ROI of PR is essential to helping clients and executives understand what they are getting for their PR spend and why investing money in PR is worthwhile. Measurement data provides clear evidence of the business results PR is responsible for achieving. Because of this, measurement helps improve PR’s overall credibility and leads to better client-agency relationships. I find it encouraging that the delegates that voted at the European Summit on Measurement agreed to work toward making PR measurement an “intrinsic part of the PR toolkit.”

Speaking of voting, don’t forget that the Media Monitoring and Measurement Survey will be closing in a few days – it is open through Monday, June 20th. If you haven’t participated yet and shared your thoughts with us, please take just a moment and do so now. The survey is short and we’ll even enter your name into our drawing for a free iPad once you complete it. Thanks in advance!

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Know where PR is going

It seems like not that long ago that I finally got used to writing the date as 2011 rather than 2010, so I’m finding it a little hard to believe that it’s now June 1st. Really… it’s June already? Time sure flies when you work in PR. Although it’s tough for me to realize, I know that with 2011 whizzing by so quickly this is the perfect time to start thinking about PR plans for 2012. That’s because keeping future PR goals in mind provides perspective on what you need to be doing in the present.

There is a famous saying that goes something like this: If you don’t know where you are going, you might end up someplace else. I like this because I think it serves as a good reminder to let our goals guide our current activities.

Say, for example, you want to add social media to your program in the coming year, or you’d like to see your PR budget increase in 2012 – there are things you need to be doing now to make achieving those goals a reality. You want to make sure your program is performing as expected and that you are on track to reach current PR and business goals. Doing so will set your program up to accomplish more in the future

I’ve worked in PR long enough to know that in order to receive continued support and resources year after year, PR has to demonstrate that it is producing results. Regular program evaluation helps PR teams understand PR’s progress, and determine whether or not PR is on track to deliver the results clients and executives expect. That’s why I recommend taking time now to examine your PR program. If you find that something isn’t working, your team can make adjustments to get back on track.

Now, when I say “examine your PR program” I’m talking about taking a look at measurement data so you can learn about your PR results. See what kind of coverage you’re getting and if it is reaching the right people. Find out how your PR results compare to those of your competitors. Determine if PR truly is having a positive impact on business. Look for opportunities and areas that need improvement. Then, when it eventually comes time to discuss the budget increase you’re hoping to receive next year, or your ideas for introducing social media into the PR mix, you can point to a successful PR program and improve the odds that you and your program will be taken seriously.

According to the Measurement Perspectives and Practices Report, 83 percent (83%) of PR pros believe PR should absolutely measure the results of its programs. So, don’t put off measurement and analysis. It will help get your PR program to where you want it to be.

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