PR News’ Measurement Hall of Fame members have a thing about data or, rather, a thing about the casual disregard of data in the PR discipline. Few things aggravate them more than a PR professional who worries openly about proving the value of communications efforts yet shies away from taking the first steps toward using data to inform their work and show the effect of their work on an organization’s goals.
The final article in this 5-part PR News/PublicRelay series about data and measurement profiles three rising communicators leaders. Each of them is a firm believer in data-centric communications, yet none of them is what you’d call a numbers nerd. They all learned to embrace data analysis on the job, not in college.
PR pros and marketers are awash in data and the future doesn’t indicate a slowing of that situation. The question then becomes what should you measure? In addition, how do you report insights from all that data to executives who are pressed for time and may have short attention spans? A quartet of PR pros provide best practices to tackle these issues.
Building a dashboard seems easy enough. Make sure it presents relevant metrics and tracks your path toward success. A former communications executive at a major U.S. bank, Peter Osborne explains how it’s a bit more complicated. He also provides step-by-step instructions so you can create a dashboard that links communications metrics to relevant business goals.
Lou Williams was one of the leading advocates for having public relations research, measurement and evaluation focus on the outcomes of PR campaigns rather than message outputs. Through speeches, workshops and seminars, he did his best to help make PR measurement and evaluation more meaningful. He once scolded judges of several of the industry’s major awards competitions for not being critical enough while assessing research and measurement.
Communications professionals are well aware of the business value they bring to their organizations and to their clients. Communicating that value to the C-suite, though, has historically been a struggle, which is no small irony. The availability of digital data has proven to be a mixed blessing for PR professionals. The data is there to show a multitude of communications successes but, for CEOs and CFOs, data that doesn’t connect directly to business goals can seem devoid of value and meaning.
Let’s agree that PR measurement is not just about numbers and tone. It’s about how communicators can use accurate and insightful data to influence business decisions and develop strategic guidance. Former CCO of Fortune 500 companies and current trustee of the Institute for Public Relations Jim Simon offers examples of how companies derived strategic insights from PR measurement.
For the third article in this five-part series about measurement-related issues, PR News and partner PublicRelay, a media monitoring and analytics firm, held a Communications Leadership Roundtable in New York during this holiday season. One dozen senior communicators discussed the challenges of refining and cleaning data, among other measurement-related issues.
There is profound uncertainty about the uses of data and of the value of the communications data that communicators share with senior leaders, according to a recent survey of communicators at the director level and, separately, at the VP level and above. The survey from PR News and PublicRelay, a media monitoring and analytics firm, looks at the day-to-day role of measurement and media analysis.
Digital communications makes nearly all actions and results quantifiable. This should enable communicators to have an easier time proving the value of their work. It’s more complicate than that as this survey from PublicRelay and PR News discovered.