The field guide of measuring PR

By Posted in - Community & Media Relations & Public Relations & Social Media & word of mouth marketing on November 2nd, 2011 2 Comments

There is a quote that Liza or I saw in a white paper a while back – a quote so powerful we decided to incorporate it into a lot of  our activities:

“Awareness starts a relationship. A relationship starts business transactions. These two crucial aspects of the stakeholder lifecycle are the fundamental domain of the PR profession and thus the crux of the business case for public relations.” Jean Creech Avent, M.S.

When I attended the PRSA International Conference, one of the sessions focused on how communication outreach helps businesses in effective ways (thus, the title, “The field guide of measuring PR.”).  Shonali Burke did an excellent job of sharing case studies that supported the following points:

  • With PR, it’s crucial to focus on the end result – the business’ bottom line
  • Strategy and measurement go hand in hand
  • We must do away with measurement practices that don’t really tell the story behind the numbers.  Such practices include impressions, ad value equivalency and not focusing on what we’re trying to achieve.

According to Shonali, the basics of measuring PR include:

* Listening
* Analyzing
* Implementing and improving

Instead of measuring on a quarterly or annual basis, we should be measuring all the time.

Ask yourself:

* What needs to happen?
* What does the data show?
* What is good, bad and ugly?
* Is it relevant?
* Can I connect results to objectives?

Analytics can tell stories about what is going on, what is changing and what needs to be improved.  Using this data, you can tie the stories together to create a complete “field guide” for how to move forward…what do you think?  How have you listened, analyzed and improved PR strategy based on measurement?  We’d love to hear from you.

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