How to Get From PR Measurement Data to Insight

I have mentioned countless times in my blog that it is important to analyze data so that you can extract information that pertains to your company’s goals and objectives.  But I often wonder if the word “analyze” could use a more detailed explanation.  For a list maker like me, “analyze” seems like too big of a step to just cross off my list, which means we may need to break it down a bit.  The dictionary defines analyze as:  “to examine carefully and in detail so as to identify causes, key factors, possible results, etc.”  It can be somewhat obscure to talk about analyzing data as the next step after collecting it.  But, how does one go about actually doing it?  Well, I found a very helpful marketing post that articulates the major challenge of getting from the collected data stage to insight.  Laura Patterson does a great job in her post, “More Data Does Not Equal Better Insights” of laying out what really needs to happen in the analyzing stage so that we end up with insights that give us the power to see and act.  Her post deals with marketing data in general, but I feel this translates to PR measurement data as well.

 

1.  Collect Data

2.  Analyze it

  1. Visualize trends….
  2. Discuss patterns…
  3. Articulate one insight…
  4. Incubate insights…
  5. Do insights resonate?

3.  Report Insights

Laura argues that data cannot give us value until we glean patterns, trends and anomalies from it.  This is easier to do when we present our results visually.  This is the first step in analyzing.  As our dictionary definition pointed out, analyzing involves careful examination in detail – so don’t expect it to be fast or easy.  In Patterson’s 5 step process of analyzing I noticed a few things that suggest that it is just that, a process.  It is a team effort that involves lots of discussion, possible insights, taking time away and then revisiting and presenting to others.  It sure is nice to attach a 5 step process to something as obscure as analyzing.  It makes the trip from data to insight much more focused and purposeful.  I know it is helpful for those of us who love to make lists and cross off the steps as we go!

Please let me know if you feel this 5 step process is as helpful for PR data as it is for generic marketing data.  Do you have any other suggestions to help break down the analyzing step?

An End to the PR Measurement Standards Debate?

It is official, PR Week announced that it is encouraging PR professionals to abandon the search for a single definitive method of PR measurement and adopt a set of measurement guidelines that are defined in a newly released industry guide. PR Week’s The PR Professionals Definitive Guide to Measurement  provides common principles that seem to build from the Barcelona Principles.  The guide’s simple format breaks down each topic by chapter.  With a mouse click you can explore topics such as:  A Step-By-Step Approach to PR Measurement, Measurement Options and Why PR Measurement is Important. So, will this be the new PR measurement bible?

Over the past 20 years PR pros have debated about whether the PR industry should develop standards for PR measurement.  Progress was made in 2010 when representatives from nearly 150 companies around the world voted on seven specific principles that set a baseline for how to measure PR – what’s good, what’s better, what’s best, and what’s bad.  These principles have been termed the Barcelona Principles.  But the creation of these principles didn’t stop the debate.  Many PR pros were still looking for a “toolkit of consistent, reliable, and comparable metrics that would allow practitioners to work more efficiently” as stated by David Geddes in his blog post about setting standards. Many people believed there was one “right” way to evaluate PR, and everyone in the industry should use that method or metric. But, since no one could agree on a perfect formula, the industry has been given a set of rules to follow and must decide how to put them into action.

So now what?  Is this guide the answer PR pros have been looking for?  Will this new set of measurement guidelines provide the consistency and reliability that the industry has been searching for?  I would love to hear your opinion on this topic!  Take a good look at the PR industry’s new guide and let me know what you think.

How to Make Your PR Campaigns Stronger

If you have read my blog before, you’re probably familiar with my stance on measurement – particularly that measuring PR is the key to making PR campaigns stronger.  I came across a similar point of view from Jessica Sharp who recaps what she learned at the PR News Measurement Conference in a recent blog post.  She points out that measurement makes your PR campaigns stronger by providing three main things:   1. Focus  2. Credibility  and 3. Accountability.  Measurement  also allows you to analyze results (like outputs and outcomes), make improvements and then analyze again.  This process can go on and on until your campaign reaches its maximum effectiveness.  Without PR measurement, the changes that need to be made are not clear, meaning it is much harder to make program adjustments that increase results.

If you want to make your PR campaigns stronger, then read Sharp’s blog and follow her 7 Steps of Measurement.  She does a great job of laying out actionable steps to get you on your way to effective PR measurement.  One fundamental step that we talk about a lot at Wallop! is setting meaningful and measureable campaign  goals.  Sharp’s blog post uses the anagram:  SMART to help you to set objectives that aren’t vague or difficult to measure.

SPECIFIC

MEASURABLE

ATTAINABLE

RELEVANT

TIME -BOUND

Being SMART about your PR measurement will help you improve your campaigns over time.  Many times goals are too ambiguous and because of that it is difficult to follow through with effective measurement.  It may take some time to adapt your goals to fit the SMART model, but it is necessary to help you understand what to measure and how to apply your results.

Another valuable point that Sharp makes about PR measurement is that “PR measurement is a circular process.”  Each time you analyze data you have the ability to make changes and improve, then you measure the changes again and the process continues in a circular motion.  Each time your campaign can get stronger and produce better results.

Do you have an example of how PR measurement has helped you to strengthen your PR campaigns over time?

How to Use Google Technology for Great PR

Have you ever found out, after using a piece of technology for a while that you haven’t even scratched the surface of what it can do for you?  This seems to happen to me a lot.  We have powerful tools at our fingertips and sometimes it takes a “techie” to help us discover it’s full potential (or just someone who has read a good blog).   I read a very instructive article about how to use Google to be better at PR that can take you to the next level in using this tool.  I think you will like what you discover!

First off, Carrie Morgan brings up the possibility of searching for additional options for posting your news.  By being creative with your wording in your Google search, you can find a variety of options available for posting articles, blogs and press releases.  Depending on your subject matter, you may find specific interest sites to fit your product or business that allow you to submit press releases, articles or comments.  I believe this is worth investigating.

Did you know that Google has the ability to bring up the latest news stories on particular subjects?  If not… Carrie gives great instructions and even visuals on how to do this.  This is very helpful for identifying news trends, keeping track of competitors and spotting opportunities to make comments.  She also walks us through an easy way to find blogs in a particular industry or subject so that we can take advantage of guest blogging possibilities.

Many of you may already use Google Alerts to receive internet news about your business or client.  (If you aren’t, this article will help you with that.)  But another advantage of Google Alerts that is highlighted in this article is “to identify news articles where you can post a client comment”.  Are you noticing a trend here?  Today’s PR involves taking advantage of opportunities to get in on the conversations that are related to your business or client.  Are you using this approach?  Do you have other suggestions on how to connect with what people are saying about your business or client?  Please let me know if you have any of your own “techie” tool advice for PR.

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