Most American adults know exercise and diet are critical to a healthy, fulfilling life. Still, only about half of us get the amount of exercise the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends. It’s similar when it comes to PR measurement. PR pros know it’s important to measure, but measurement itself often is done minimally or skipped altogether.
Despite years of being asked for more concrete performance metrics, of complaining that “they just don’t understand” what we do, and of being given opportunities at every turn to make a change, we somehow believe that public relations is absolved from having to play by the same rules.
You just presented your latest PR measurement dashboard to the C-suite. The result: a boardroom full of blank faces and no questions. This is not a good sign. It’s very possible that the problem is not the effectiveness and usefulness of your team’s communications efforts. The problem may be the dashboard itself.
It’s a toss-up. Who was suffering more from delusional thinking last month: UK Prime Minister David Cameron or UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi? You’ll have to judge for yourself.
Google’s free tool has the power to transform a brand’s understanding of its online presence, which can only lead to a better experience for users. Putting this analytics tool to work within a larger measurement framework has the potential to unleash a kind of transparency to PR work that was at one time unimaginable. This allows communicators to make well-informed decisions backed by data, which can then be used to concretely prove their team’s business contributions to the C-suite.
Measuring PR is a hot topic. Talk to any PR or marketing leader and they want to know which campaigns are paying off, which influencers and reporters are driving engagement, and if their agency retainer is bigger than their ROI.
The problem, of course, is that most leaders aren’t sure how to find those answers. The intention to measure PR accurately is there, but the ability often isn’t.
Efforts to base public relations activity in sound measurement concepts could use a little extra PR. The originators of the Barcelona Principles have long hoped that their work would take root among communicators struggling to provide the organizational value of their work. So, what’s better PR than a shareable infographic?
Behind the scenes, certain heroes have been meeting and debating about the standardization of PR measurement practices, and putting these practices to work and doing, yes, PR, for these practices. At PR News’ annual Measurement Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., we inducted a few of these heroes into PR News’ Measurement Hall of Fame.
If you’re measuring every activity because you think more is more and that everything is important, then it’s time to switch lanes. But as you embark on a week of heavy measuring, I realize you might need a pep talk. So here’s a few morsels of wisdom from our conference speakers to get your engine running.
Is the glass half empty or half full? That’s the dilemma raised by the latest PR News survey about measurement practices. On the upside, more PR pros appear to be relying on measurement than previously. The flip side is the pace toward a more analytical mindset is incremental.