The “YES Measurement” Top 10

It is easy to come up with excuses not to do something that can be confusing and take lots of work.  Like PR measurement, for example.  There is no easy, clear cut way to do it.  So why bother.  In fact, here are the top 10 reasons that Ketchum Global Research and Analytics have given as to why PR pros choose to shy away from this big task.

top 10 no measurement

Although some of these reasons may be slightly legitimate, let’s focus today on why we should take the time and effort to measure PR.  Here is my:

“Yes Measurement” Top 10

  1. Clients and execs want proof that PR works.

  2. Gives insights on how to improve/adjust PR campaigns.

  3. Allows PR pros to give smart PR recommendations.

  4. Shows the big picture of what works and what doesn’t.

  5. Helps PR department give valuable insights into business decisions.

  6. To see where you stand against the competition.

  7. Takes the guesswork out of PR.

  8. Gives legitimacy for more PR budget dollars.

  9. There are more PR measurement tools available now more than ever.

  10. With online measurement we get immediate feedback.

I think if you take a hard look at my top 10, you will realize that PR measurement is like putting on a pair of prescription glasses for the first time.  It brings clarity, understanding and precise knowledge that before was very fuzzy, vague and confusing.  Once you have experienced what it is like to really see, do you still walk around without your glasses on?  Of course not.  We love being able to see with clarity.  The same holds true with PR measurement.  Once you find the right analytics for you, you won’t want to go back.  It is taking that plunge to really get serious about PR measurement that is hard.  If you need help taking that plunge, I would be happy to answer any questions you have.

Advertisements

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?

Understanding Social Media Measurement

PR measurement can be confusing and complicated in its traditional form, let alone adding social media to the mix.  Many PR pros are still in the process of trying to figure out the best way to measure social media and use it to help meet business goals.  I recently read a great post entitled How Do You Measure Social Media by Tim Penning.  This associate professor, does a great job of explaining what traditional PR evaluation looks like and then pointing out it’s equivalent in the social media world.

In reading this post I couldn’t help but notice that the same rules that apply in traditional media measurement, also apply to social media measurement.  He starts by making sure that we are focused on goals.  He suggests asking the question:  How is social media helping meet established business goals? Instead of:  How is our social media doing?

This is something that I have learned is very important if you want to cut through the amount of data out there and get clients and executives specific answers to their questions.

Another thing I love about this post is his way of pointing out the weakest forms of measurement to the most sophisticated and effective in both traditional and social medias.  He seems to agree that just reporting media coverage is not nearly as effective as measuring change in awareness, attitude or action.  This, of course, goes back to meeting specific goals.

One of the things Mr. Penning points out about social media is its success at establishing a relationship between business and customer.  What do you think?  Have your clients had success in establishing positive relationships with customers through social media?

 

The PR Over-Servicing Dilemma: Part 2

Once upon a time, in a previous blog post, I mentioned that expectations are at the root of the PR over-servicing problem.  When goals and  expected deliverables aren’t clearly communicated and used to guide PR activities, PR agencies and their clients find themselves moving in different directions.  The agency may push forward thinking everything is running smoothly while the client is unsatisfied and restless. The result? Clients feeling the need to change course and add PR activities in a desperate attempt to fulfill their hidden expectations.  Stopping the over-servicing cycle is simply a matter of communicating and managing expectations:

1.  DEFINE THEM

2.  STICK TO THEM

3.  MEASURE RESULTS

4.  DELIVER RESULTS

Today let’s focus on points three and four.

3. Measure Results

Once your expectations are aligned (and you have agreed to stick to them) it is time to measure your results.  Create a grid that tracks “goal vs. actual” results.  For example record how many interviews you were expecting and then track it against how many actual interviews you got.  This is a great way to check off goals when they are reached.  Clients or executives can see progress being made and don’t have to wonder if the project was a success.  Wallop! OnDemand found in our most recent survey that 42% of PR pros use a “goal vs. actual” grid to help tackle over-servicing.

4.  Deliver Results

This is my favorite part.  After following the first three points you are much more likely to DELIVER expected results to your clients or executives.  And because you 1. clearly defined expectations 2. didn’t change them and 3. measured results… there should be no questions whether expectations were met or not.  (As well as no reason for clients to ask for “free add-ons” throughout the process.)  And everyone lived happily ever after!

Is Combining PR Strategies the way to go?

I often hear PR pros debating the best way to effectively measure PR.  I recently found this article over on PRMoment looking at the tools that are available: http://bit.ly/XVzl4u.  It is an interesting conversation.  I think measurement progress is happening, as clients are demanding it to happen.  Data driven PR strategy should be the goal as we look to meet these needs, but is there a combination of factors we should consider when looking at this?

What Questions Should We be Asking for PR Measurement

I came across a blog post from Christopher Penn that talks about the fact that when it comes to PR measurement, we may be asking the wrong questions. Since there is no handbook that tells us what to do with the measurement data we collect, that should be our biggest focus, not debating whether PR measurement is important or not.  While I think the industry is making progress, we still need to see more PR teams applying measurement data to strategy in the future.  Check out Christopher’s thoughts here: http://bit.ly/ZnKUjF.

PR Measurement is Lacking

Are you dissatisfied with how you measure PR?  Do you long for more staff who can dedicate more time to it?  Do you wish there were better measurement tools available that you could afford?  If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions… then you are not alone.  In a recent survey sponsored by Ragan/NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions of 1,467 PR pros, it was discovered that respondents are longing for improvement when it comes to PR measurement.

Although most agreed that improvements need to be made, nearly everyone expressed that measurement is crucial to PR.  It looks as though respondents believe in measurement, they just know it can be better.

bigger graph measurement integral

There is a dissatisfaction when it comes to PR measurement.  In fact only 6% of respondents were very satisfied with how they measure PR.  Leaving 30% dissatisfied and 47% only somewhat satisfied.  What is causing all this frustration?  Here are the top 3 answers:

1.            Lack of Man Power………………………..56%

2.            Lack of Time …………………………………56%

3.            We don’t know which tools to use …………52%

Not only do PR staffers not know which tools to use, 46% are unhappy with the ones that are available.  Why?

1.            Too expensive ……………………………………………..57%

2.            Don’t integrate traditional and social media …………46%

3.            Don’t provide context ……………………………………46%

4.            Don’t provide insight …………………………………….42%

What an opportunity for measurement providers to take notice.  PR staffers want measurement at an affordable price that integrates both social and traditional forms of media. And, they want context so they can recognize opportunities and learn from insights to ultimately make better business decisions.

With 85% of these respondents doing the measurement themselves, there is a huge opportunity for vendors and service providers to jump in and save the day.  Wouldn’t it be nice if PR measurement could truly be designed to deliver the exact info you need? No more frustration!  Wallop! OnDemand is listening and taking your feedback to heart.  It is our goal to help make PR measurement work better for you.

%d bloggers like this: