Combine Tools to Measure Social Media

One of the growing challenges in PR measurement is determining the best practices to effectively measure social media.  At this point I don’t know that there is one single, fool-proof tool to use across the board to measure social media efforts. Instead I think that a combination of tools and tactics may be needed, depending on your focus and the information you want to capture. If you are curious about some of the newest tools available for measuring social media, Twitter, Pinterest, etc., check out this blog post by Ryan Zuk. It highlights some of the new and good options on the social media measurement front: http://bit.ly/VQ0ie3.

PR Brings Value to Business Strategy

To continue our topic from Monday:  What grade would you give your PR staff in the area of providing business counsel? Does your PR team spend more time in meetings asking questions or presenting recommendations? Everyone benefits when PR actively participates in strategy and business decisions.  After all, if PR has insights and quality measurement data to work with, they have a wealth of information to bring to the table.  Here are a few tips to challenge you to broaden your organization’s perception of PR’s roles.

Take Your Seat

PR leaders, make your move to take your seat at the board room table.  Make it known that you want to be involved in strategy meetings, and then be dynamic in the boardroom and leverage measurement-driven insights to contribute to business strategy and decisions. Exhibit a strong leadership presence in the boardroom and you are guaranteed to earn greater recognition and reward for PR.

Be Prepared

Start by practicing solid PR measurement and analysis so you can be prepared with business insights supported by key metrics. Once you step into the boardroom, use those insights to create value by making data-driven recommendations, ask thought provoking questions and participate in business strategy discussions.  If you have done your homework in advance and can back up your ideas with solid research, then you will be respected as a beneficial participant.  This will also help the rest of the business divisions to see the power of PR.

Train Other PR Staffers

Teach PR staff to use a business approach when analyzing PR measurement.  Help them to correlate PR with increased revenue and meeting business goals.  If PR staffers have a business mindset from the beginning, then they won’t be afraid to contribute and engage in bringing valuable insights to the table.  Executives will soon see the relevance of PR, and appreciate having them involved in business strategy.

For a more in-depth article on this subject see my post entitled:  How to Prove PR’s Business Value in the Board Room in Bulldog Reporter’sDaily Dog.

Bring PR To The Strategy Planning Table

Earlier this month I wrote a post for Bulldog Reporter’s Daily Dog publication about PR’s valuable role in the boardroom.  I wanted to expand on this topic a bit. Typically PR’s responsibilities are thought of as more communications related – reporting the amount of media coverage, dealing with brand reputation, handling public perception after a crisis.  These aspects of PR are good, but we must take them a step further.  If PR wants to be considered a successful (and essential) business element, then we need to expand our traditional role and provide valuable business counsel.  The best way to accomplish this is to bridge the gap between PR staff and business executives by speaking their language.  PR managers should think in terms of business goals and revenue.

Think >>>Business Goals

Executives want to know how PR is going to help accomplish their business goals.  That is why it is so important that we speak in those terms.  When you use PR measurement data to support and address business concerns such as brand recognition, closing the gap with competitors and strategy development – you will be multiplying PR’s worth to the powers that be.

Think >>>Bottom Line

Executives want to know how PR affects their bottom line.  This requires us to focus and take an active interest in the financials.  Take the time to review financial reports and compare these to PR metrics.  Look for correlations between the company’s financial gains and PR strategies to demonstrate the power of PR and its effect on the company’s ability to earn revenue.  When there is a positive correlation between PR and ROI, then it’s easy to find yourself at the strategy planning table.

See my February Bulldog reporter article entitled:  How to Prove PR’s Business Value in the Boardroom for more information on this topic.

Put Your PR Staffers in the Spotlight for Using Measurement

And the award for Best Use of PR Measurement in a Report goes to…

Most of us love to be in the spotlight, whether we admit it or not.  The thought of getting recognition, rewards or advancement for working hard at something makes it all worth it.  Just like Hollywood’s Oscar winners, we want to know that “they love my work!”

With the Academy Awards approaching on Sunday, I thought I’d take the time to encourage PR leaders to ‘roll out the red carpet’ for PR staffers who do measurement work.  Many PR staffers feel measurement work isn’t going to get them noticed or help in advancing their careers, resulting in either neglecting measurement tasks or feeling undervalued.  What does that mean for your PR program?  Lack of quality and accuracy in measurement data, and the risk of frustrated employees and turnover.

As an agency or corporate PR leader, the best way to get your team to value their measurement work is to put them in the spotlight for doing it.  Show your team how important measurement is for making smarter PR decisions and recommendations.  Point out how their hard work has contributed to the overall quality and success of PR results – and reward them for it.  When PR staffers see that their measurement work is not only valuable, but necessary  – it will be worth it.

Encourage junior staffers from the get go that using measurement will naturally help them win respect and make it easier to show-off their abilities.  Let them know that clients and executives want data-rich reports and tangible results.  And, that if they think of measurement as their ally and use it to create spot-on strategy to deliver what clients and execs want – they will be noticed.

Being intentional about spotlighting measurement work will create a pro-measurement culture among your staff.  This should be your goal if you want to achieve better results for your clients and execs, healthy client relationships and a thriving PR staff.

I just want to thank my Supervisor for teaching me the value of quality PR measurement!

Survey Results Are In: Here’s a Sneak Peak

Many of you may recall participating in Wallop’s PR survey that wrapped up in November. Well, after much analysis and sifting through survey responses, I wanted to share a few key points that stood out to me.

I was very happy to see an almost equal representation of agency-affiliated respondents (37%) and corporate professionals (42%). This was very helpful in learning the differences and similarities between the two groups. The final 21% of respondents classified themselves with titles such as independent consultants, non-profit agencies, analysis providers and interns.

Breakdown of Wallop! Survey Respondents

Which Best Describes Your PR Role?  

  • Agency Professional:  37%  
  • Corporate PR Professional:  42%  
  • Other:  21%

Out of all the respondents we learned that a majority of them are tracking their own PR coverage in-house.  But of the two groups, corporations are more likely to outsource their tracking.  Even though most were not out-sourcing, it was agreed by most that a major benefit  of out-sourcing media tracking would be to free up skilled team members to do more value-added PR work.

Results of Coverage Tracking Questions

  • 76% of coverage tracking for all organizations takes place in-house
  • 6% of agency respondents out-source tracking
  • 19% of corporate respondents out-source tracking
  • Over 75% of organizations across all levels feel that out-sourcing would free skilled team members to do more value-added PR work!

If so many agree that out-sourcing would be beneficial, why are so few doing it?  One of the main reasons is monetary.  Over half agreed that there would need to be a cost benefit before they would consider switching from in-house tracking.  So is it costly to out-source your tracking?  This seems to be an area that participants were divided on.  Some thought in-house was most costly, others cited external tracking as being the most costly and many thought they were about equal in cost.

Participant Thoughts on Costs

  • 58% of all respondents said:  “There would need to be a cost benefit over doing those tasks in-house.”

Which do you feel is a greater expense for an agency/corporate PR team?

  • 39% Internal cost of using skilled team member
  • 34% External cost of outsourcing
  • 27% Equal

After taking a close look at the responses regarding outsourcing, it occurs to me that there could be a perception that tracking in-house is more beneficial and less costly (or that some don’t really know.)  I believe it would be well worth it for PR teams to examine this more closely and weigh their options.  The initial price tag of outsourcing is an additional cost, but do the benefits outweigh the costs?  Consider what could happen if part of your PR staffs’ salaries didn’t have to go toward measurement.  What if they had more time to work on skilled PR work?  Could this result in more revenue?  This sounds like it could be the subject of another blog.  What do you think?

Thank you to all who participated in our survey.  I look forward to sharing more survey insights with you in the future.

Find a Baseline to Grow Measurement From

Happy Friday! Here’s a tip for all of you that are just getting started with a measurement program: Go back six months and collect the coverage from that time frame. This will give you a baseline to grow from.  Then once you begin to collect and measure new data, you will understand where you came from and whether you are making forward progress. Doing this takes time, but it is a great way to invest in successful measurement and get your efforts off to a good start.

PR Measurement and Social Media

Most PR professionals agree that measurement is a necessity.  We understand that using measurement, including analysis, can give a clear picture of where our PR efforts are going.  So why aren’t we more focused on getting it right when it comes to measurement? Are there too many barriers standing in the way?  Check out this article by Russell Working that highlights survey results surrounding social media measurement and offers some insight: http://bit.ly/14dUxYu.

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