In this blog series on Growth PR, we examine why you should begin formulating your PR analysis program right now.
There was a time when communication professionals only measured the effectiveness of their media efforts when they absolutely had to (e.g. if management was asking them to).
Public relations folks were quite content to remain in their little corner of the organization, happily churning-out press releases and “putting out fires.”
But rest assured, those days are over.
Below are three reasons measuring your communications efforts should be one of the most important parts of any PR pro’s job.
- In God We Trust; Everyone Else Bring Data
Here in the third decade of the 21st century, analysis and insights are commonplace. In fact, they’re pretty much requirements in every aspect of today’s business world.
While PR and Communications departments must adapt, it can be a daunting task. Budgets may be limited; staff might be limited too; and sometimes it can be hard holding both you and your team accountable to the results.
But make no mistake, measuring performance is what every other department is doing. And quite frankly, it’s the only thing the C-Suite will accept for what success looks like. Want a bigger budget? Want a larger team? Want that promotion you’ve been hankering after? It can all start with measuring your communications efforts against an established set of goals.
Keep in mind that simply understanding the value of having data analysis on-hand is key to achieving success within your organization.
- Demonstrate What’s Working; Fix What’s Not
To truly gain the attention of your executive team, you must be able to both highlight strengths and acknowledge weaknesses. By only promoting successes internally, you could be missing-out on correcting actual problems.
Using analysis results to justify why more money should be spent in a particular area that’s lagging, is perhaps the best way to secure more budget.
One example of this would be acknowledging comms efforts fell short in an important market so you can justify hiring additional resources in that region. Another could be conceding a competitor out-paced you in coverage quality, so you can justify more funding to produce thought leadership content.
But without any measurement program in place, you won’t be able to truly show what’s working, let alone to try and fix what’s not.
- Add Power to your KPIs
Telling your boss year-after-year that you garnered this many articles or generated that many potential impressions will only get you so far.
Vanity metrics might be easy to come by, but they’re extremely short on context. For example, saying you increased your clip volume by 10% isn’t that great if those articles were passing mentions in lower-tier media outlets.
But if you calculate a score based on the relevance of your brand within the article and the reputation of that particular media outlet, you’ve turned quantitative data into qualitative insights. These types of metrics are invaluable to both your team and your senior stakeholders.
But the most important aspect of any PR measurement program; before you can engage your executive team; grow your budget; or inform your communications strategy, is to simply get started.
The next two posts in this series will discuss who your PR measurement reports should be made for, and what to include and highlight in those reports. Look out for the next blog post, going live next week!
To hear more insights around data-driven communications, please join us for “The Growth PR Playbook” webinar on Thursday, March 25th! In this session, our panelists will discuss how to shift your strategies from activity-based PR to Growth PR as well as practical plays that you can start implementing which are driven by metrics, data, and insights.