5 Tips to Using Metrics to Transform Perceptions of PR

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Andrew Bowins

You know that good PR is essential to the well-being and future of your organization. And yet every year when budgeting season arrives—or every day when you feel that senior leaders or clients are wondering just what it is that you do to help the bottom line—you worry that PR is seen as a good-to-have but not a must-have function.

PR measurement and analytics pros believe that a good part of the blame for a lack of understanding of the business value of public relations falls on PR practitioners themselves. It's up to PR pros to create measurable PR campaigns that tie to the top and bottom lines—and in the age of digital, everything can be measured.

Andrew Bowins, senior VP, corporate and digital communications, for MasterCard, is one such true believer who insists that every interaction can and should be measured. What is more, he says that PR pros should make the shift toward a real-time engagement ecosystem that actually helps point the way forward for brands and organizations.

Bowins, who will be presenting a case study on his analytics work at MasterCard at PR News' April 8 Measurement Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., offers five tips to help you use analytics to transform the way PR is perceived within your organization. (Bowins will also be inducted into PR News' Measurement Hall of Fame at the April 8 event.)

1. Data and insights have to be derived and presented in the context of business, not as functional metrics that only PR people understand.

2. Metrics alone are not enough. Insights are critical and needed to drive action, shape strategy and validate the impact of PR.

3. Data and insights need to be democratized and shared enterprise-wide, allowing for full transparency and a common language for the company to engage in.

4. Measure the impact of PR across a content ecosystem that includes social, digital, online and traditional. Standardize the measures and represent the results as an aggregate.

5. Golden rule: Metrics needs to be kept simple and lean toward insights. If you make it too complicated people will reject it and fail to engage, as they'll be confused by what you present.

Learn more from PR measurement experts like Andrew Bowins at PR News' Measurement Conference on April 8 at Washington, D.C.'s National Press Club.

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