OK. Let’s face it. Public relations is often the first thing to go in tough economic times. Often executives don’t understand its value when they look at the bottom line and ROI. Truth is… economic study after study has proven through recession after recession that if a company stops its marketing, it has a tougher time in recovery. Whether or not we’re about to hit the double dip recession… the question becomes if you’re using effective public relations how are you measuring it?
Let me first go back to point of fact from last week’s blog entry… the P is public relations does not stand for press. So simply measuring news clips isn’t going to show an effective campaign.
Last month public relations professionals from around the world met in Barcelona. They adopted a new set of global measurement principles based on the current Web 2.0 (or is it 3.0?) world we’re practicing in. This is the first time a group of practitioners rejected using media coverage as a method to determine value. That’s fantastic! About time!
Instead they adopted the following:
- Goal setting and measurement are fundamental aspects of any PR program. What are your goals for a communications plan? Do you review them regularly to see how you’re doing?
- Media measurement requires both quantity and quality. It’s not enough to get a mention… are you or your business the story?
- Advertising Value Equivalents do not measure the value of PR and do not inform future activity. Advertising is not PR! Enough said!
- Social media can and should be measured. Definitely. How many times a day does the local paper post a story online that doesn’t appear in print due to affordability issues?
- Measuring outcomes is preferred to measuring media results. Is press driving reputation and business ROI?
- Business results can and should be measured. I like to hear from clients when a PR tactic drives new prospects.
- Transparency and replicability are paramount to sound measurement. Does your staff speak the same way and actually do what you say? Are you real?