Measurement is said to be PR’s albatross. Heck, many PR pros entered the field specifically so they could avoid working with numbers. Fortunately, measuring and mining data for PR insights are far less complicated operations than measurement naysayers would have you believe. Advocating for measurement programs, our author says you can begin a measurement effort simply and inexpensively.
At PR News’ Measurement Boot Camp in New York on Nov. 9, 2017, Shilpa Mehta, principal analytical lead, Google, discussed three common sins of “dashboarding”—these are missteps that would indicate the problems you’re having have less to do with built-in C-suite skepticism and more to do with your dashboards, despite your laser focus on meeting business challenges.
In this first article of a five-part series produced with partner PublicRelay, a media monitoring and analytics firm, we will examine the common challenges of measuring communications data so it can be turned into useful insights that will help not only communicators but the business overall.
Therese Van Ryne, head of global PR and the global customer reference program at Zebra Technologies, shares five key questions that a PR or marketing pro needs to ask before setting up a dashboard that effectively evaluates your campaign performance or share of voice.
PR measurement may seem like a huge undertaking and many PR pros might not consider themselves data scientists. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find meaningful correlations in your PR data. Take it from Katie Delahaye Paine, also known as The Measurement Queen, who has been a pioneer in the field for more than two decades.
Now is the time to have a serious discussion about PR measurement and how we can advance the profession by throwing away old models and embracing the new. So says Andrew Bowins, an executive director at KPMG and a PR News Measurement Hall of Famer. By moving away from vanity metrics and into reliable insights—by “living at the intersection of big data and digital storytelling”—PR pros can elevate the conversation with the C-suite.
And you thought the mob was dead. Not true when it comes to PR measurement, says emeritus member of IPR’s Measurement Commission and PR News Measurement Hall of Famer John Gilfeather. With tongue slightly in cheek, Gilfeather offers communicators a checklist of measurement tips that none of us can refuse.
Reporting the data from a communications campaign is more than just writing up a tally of various metrics. Too many communicators try to use measurement simply as an end in itself, a gauge of how well a campaign performed after it’s over. Rather, analytics should inform every stage of the planning process, says Carrie Schum, executive vice president of strategic planning, analytics and research at Porter Novelli.
With AMEC’s Measurement Month just completed, we asked Weber Shandwick’s president of measurement and analytics Allyson Hugley to reflect on the state of PR measurement as well as how PR pros can change the mindset about the importance of measurement and using data to glean business insights as opposed to proving the worth of the PR function.
When it comes to measuring your PR and communications efforts, more is not always better. Janneke van Geuns, head of insights and analytics at Google, says that she has seen communicators who try to collect and track an overabundance of metrics. But collecting more data isn’t going to bring about better insights, she says. Instead, communicators should break through the clutter of unnecessary (and just plain meaningless) metrics to focus on the ones that truly matter to you and your organization.