In the third post of this 4-part series on Growth PR, we examine who you should formulate your analysis for.
Be honest: how often have you presented a report on the results of and next steps from the past month or quarter of public relations and communications work without knowing who was going to see it? Whether you work for an agency or on an in-house team, it’s important to be aware of who your reports will be shared with so that you can address their interests and concerns within.
When you identify your stakeholders as well as what they are trying to accomplish as a result of reviewing your data, you can start coming up with strategies in order to gather the relevant information, analyze the resulting metric data, and present it in the most effective format.
Don’t worry, we’re here for you.
Below are three key things to consider as you craft your monthly, quarterly, and campaign reports for various target audiences.
- Who is Influencing the Influencer?
Two of the most important things to understand before you start to put together PR measurement reports is who the stakeholders are, and what they care about. Know your audience. Ask the people that you’re reporting to several questions: What are their goals for the program? What are the organization’s business strategy goals? What is the most important piece of information that you’d like from these reports? Find out what the stakeholders perspectives are and outline your report structure to address these questions.
If you work for an agency, this is your client. What are their overall goals, and how does your work and theirs play into the overarching strategy of the company? If you work in-house, this is your executive team. What are their goals for your business in the near and long term, and how can you show them as often as possible that the communications department is a strategic partner to help them reach and surpass those goals?
Goals exist at all stakeholder levels, sometimes they require a bit of translation.
The communications team is one of the most important advisers and strategic partners to the C-suite, as you can make significant contributions to organizational KPIs. No one can navigate ongoing conversations with the public better. Your expertise includes not only messaging and campaigns, but also monitoring public opinion and stakeholder interests, which allows you to inform decision-making processes that are critical for business growth and success. Who could use a reminder about that?
- More Than a Report Card
Go beyond results and provide audience-specific insights and recommendations to keep those stakeholders interested and invested. For example: If they say that they want to increase their Share of Voice and brand awareness in a particular country and are thus going to focus on media relations with top publications in that market, their marketing goal may be to gather more leads in that market, and their business goal may be to increase revenue there. All too often people shy away from measurement and metrics that go beyond SOV, but there are many valuable and interesting ways to measure.
Being able to use PR Attribution data about the website traffic driven by earned media press and influencer coverage and owned media content, and the website interactions completed by those visitors (particularly tied to recent announcements or key initiatives), will clearly show that the work you’re doing is having real lasting business impact.
Just like a parent-teacher conference, don’t forget about reputation. Most executives agree that public opinion and corporate reputation are more relevant for business decision-making today than they were in the past. Strategic communications is a major driver of reputation, and also plays a big role in your customer lifecycle, including brand awareness, recognition, and the emotional connection that influences purchase decisions. Even if it’s not a direct match, be able to roll-up communications goals into the company business strategy and its corporate reputation. It will gain you credibility, trust, and likely an expanded partnership.
- The Targeted Follow Up
While executives need counsel and support to master the challenges of a 24/7 information flow and the dynamics of real-time opinion building in global settings. This is where communications and PR teams come in as important advisers and partners to the C-suite. Because communications teams own earned and, oftentimes, owned media you are the team that holds the keys to building trust amongst all of your stakeholders, be it customers, employees, investors, policymakers, or society at large.
Use measurement and metrics as a tool to regularly evaluate and reevaluate reputation, goals, successes, and what didn’t work. Leave your ego at the door. If a launch, campaign, event, etc. didn’t go as planned – look into the details. What did happen? What was successful? What didn’t work? Was there an underlying event that affected the market overall? It’s not just the results, maybe the goals were unrealistic for what the market/industry would sustain?
Be realistic and prepare to adjust if needed. Just because a specific tactic worked once, doesn’t always mean that it will get the same results in any given market. Similar to targeting your communications strategy, you also need to target your metrics. Insights from your analysis, smartly applied to stakeholder goals will help engage and encourage active discussion. Repeat as needed on a consistent basis.
The final post in this series will discuss what to include and highlight in your reports. Look out for part four, 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.