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  • Writer's pictureJaya Koilpillai Bohlmann

Proving the Value of PR – Part 1

This two part series details the best metrics for measuring PR campaign efforts and provides useful tips on how to better align your campaign with your company’s goals.

Be a business partner and adopt executive thinking

While marketing can be measured by clicks and views, public relations can be more difficult to quantify. This can make it difficult to show PR’s value to numbers-minded leaders, and means you must have a robust measurement system in place.

Data analysis is only as useful as its ability to be applied to relevant and current business goals and strategies. To measure outputs and outcomes, you need to first understand their differences. An output is what you produce within a campaign, such as the number of social media posts per week or press releases published. An outcome is the behavioral changes of consumers as a result of your campaign, such as reading blog posts or attending your seminars. Seeing how your work affects a consumer’s actions is difficult, but with close monitoring of your publics, it can be done.

To create your measurement system, follow these steps:

1. Know the right measurement tools

2. Act as a business partner

3. Think like an executive

Choosing the right measurement tools

When deciding the best way to measure your PR campaign be sure to remember…

  1. Goal setting and measurement are fundamental in communication and PR

  2. Measure communication outcomes, not only outputs

  3. Measurement and evaluation require both qualitative and quantitative methods and should be transparent, consistent and valid

  4. Social media can and should be measured consistently with other media channels

This list is a classic measurement tool defined as the Barcelona Principles, which were established by a team of public relations experts when trying to determine a universal way to measure PR efforts after deciding AVEs were no longer practical.

The Barcelona Principles are good starting point, but it’s important to know the steps within each of them, which include…

  • Benchmarks – Tying in key metrics for PR traction within each step of your campaign.

  • Sentiment analysis – Understanding how the consumer feels towards your company before and after campaigns, which can demonstrate the impact it had on your target audience.

  • Consumer behavior patterns – These will help you to understand both the outcomes and outputs of campaigns. Look at trend analysis insights to create specific measurements for each objective and be sure to layout the data in a comprehensive yet easily understood way.

Once you have the right measurement tools, you can improve your campaign performance and can give actionable insight to the C-Suite. Stay tuned for the next post in the series to learn how to act as a business partner as well as a PR person.

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