Think measuring the effectiveness of PR campaigns is a challenge? Imagine doing it in the heat of a presidential campaign, when your ultimate boss happens to be the most powerful person in the world.
That was the challenge for Dr. Amy Gershkoff, who was the director of media planning at Obama for America and is now the global director of analytics for Burson-Marsteller. During the Obama re-election campaign, she built the first-of-its-kind in-house media planning department, designing tools to optimize paid, earned and owned communication in real time.
Gershkoff, who was named one of the "50 Women Who Made the 2012 Election" by the Huffington Post, will be sharing measurement lessons learned from her experience working on the Obama campaign at PR News' May 15 PR Measurement Conference in Washington, D.C. Here, she offers a preview of her session.
PR News: What is the most important PR measurement lesson you learned working on a national political campaign?
Amy Gershkoff: An integrated measurement approach is key – the effectiveness of earned media efforts cannot be measured in isolation from paid media efforts, and the effectiveness of social media communications cannot be measured in isolation from traditional media communications. To the voter, it’s all just the Barack Obama campaign. They don’t differentiate between the different campaign departments or consultants.
PR News: What do you recommend to communications pros who are intimidated by the growing importance of analytics and research in PR?
Gershkoff: Data-driven communications is not just the future – it’s the present. All PR professionals today need at least a basic understanding of the core principles of analytics and measurement to be successful in today’s field.
PR News: What is one key tip you'll share with attendees at the May 15 PR Measurement Conference?
Gershkoff: The importance of a Daily War Room – it’s key to measure how you’re doing every single day and make adjustments where needed and where feasible on a daily basis and not wait until an entire campaign or program is over to figure out what’s working and what’s not working.
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