3 Measurement Tips to Get the C-Suite to Brag About PR


Historically shrouded in mystery, measurement of the tangible outcomes of PR work remained elusive for many business executives and practitioners until recently. It wasn’t until the dawn of the digital era that communicators really set out to develop PR-specific ways to measure the effects of their work.

Even though the specifics are still up for debate, measuring PR has become a priority for PR pros and C-suites alike. The bosses appreciate that they can now put numbers behind the money they spend on PR, while communicators can finally stand up and show the quantifiable business value associated with their work.

But even if the advances in measurement have made it clearer to CEOs what PR actually does, that doesn’t mean they’re as concerned with the terminology as many in the discipline are. When it comes to C-level executives, do they really care about how many impressions a campaign generated? Or are they more interested in how a top-tier placement scored the company high-quality business leads?

If you really want to get executives excited by your PR campaigns, you have to know what makes them tick and then measure your work accordingly. At PR News’ Measurement Conference on April 21 at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., attendees will get the latest measurement tips and tricks to ensure they’re reporting what really matters to their organizations.

As the conference draws ever closer, Barbara Coons, senior vice president at Edelman Intelligence and Pauline Draper-Watts, executive vice president with Edelman Intelligence offer a few things to keep in mind when reporting to the C-suite. These three tips will help focus your PR measurement reports to guarantee they line up with executive priorities.

Use the right data

To discern the C-suite's true concerns, communications teams and their measurement counterparts need to see the whole corporate picture and have extensive knowledge of the organization's operations as well as its competitive and regulatory environment. They need to think strategically and have access to ask probing questions of top executives, and they also need the trust and respect to receive candid, confidential responses. Once top priorities are defined, appropriate KPIs and the tools to measure them can be selected.

Customize your presentations

Each C-suite has preferences on the way it wants to receive information. How readily your data is digested and applied will depend on how well you tailor reporting to reflect the style and format your audience prefers. Do your homework on the people in the room and keep your reports short and informative.

Determine the frequency of your reports

It may be that there is a need for monthly topline reporting, a quarterly or annual deep-dive to show a broader picture, and even daily "temperature checks" if your organization finds itself in a crisis. The cadence of reporting must match situational needs, providing relevant insights in an accessible format.

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