The value of a PR program can really only be proven through your ability to work with data. That means a lot more than counting impressions, media mentions or Twitter followers. You have to get down and dirty with data, focusing on what matters most to your brand.
Deborah Brown, partner and managing director of strategic development at Peppercomm, and Nicole Moreo, senior manager of research and analytics at Peppercomm, share some key questions you should ask before setting out on a measurement program.
- What should you measure? All PR campaigns should be measured, but you need to decide early just how extensive your program should be. Keep it in-house or outsource? Track basic impact or get detailed about tying your efforts to sales?
- What matters to you and your client? What are your goals? How do these goals impact your business and key performance indicators? Whatever the answer may be, measure only what will answer these questions, instead of measuring data for data’s sake.
- What are you tracking? You need to decide what are the parameters for measurement, and how they work together to show their effect on your goals.
- How are you receiving data? All data collection systems are not created equal, so decide what the ideal solution is for your specific project.
- How are you analyzing? Will you use computer technology to measure your variables? Human analysts? A combination of the two? Make sure you define which system you will be using up front. And have a way to analyze each of the parameters you developed earlier. Only focus on data that maps back to your goals.
- What does your presentation look like? Your findings are only as good as what people take away from them. Develop a way to present your data so that it makes sense to the report’s intended audience.
- What’s next? Provide actionable strategies that are based on the data. These can include seeking a bigger budget for your efforts or changing your communications strategy. Measurement is meaningless unless you can use it to benefit your program and your client.
To learn more about the benefits and techniques of PR measurement, join us for PR News’ PR Measurement Conference taking place on Nov. 20 in Chicago.
Follow Deborah Brown: @DeborahBrown21
Follow Nicole Moreo: @KikiMoreo
Follow Richard Brownell: @RickBrownell