It was encouraging to see nearly 250 attending our annual PR News Measurement Conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. on March 23. PR practitioners worth their salt understand that measuring their communications efforts is a must-do. How to do it right is another thing! One quote used by a speaker during yesterday’s conference, compliments of political strategist James Carville, was: “If it can’t be measured, it didn’t happen.” The audience of mid- to senior-level communicators agreed that ad value equivalencies are bringing the profession down; that identifying key influencers and making them your best friends is a strategy worth trying; that measuring impressions is so “yesterday” while measuring stakeholder engagement is a better way of proving PR’s value to an organization. Speaking of which, PR can be tied to sales, and we heard dozens of case studies showing just that. So don’t let your marketing or advertising department tell you any differently. But make sure you’re actually talking to and partnering with those counterparts in Marketing/Advertising/IR/HR, lest they take the credit for your organization’s stellar reputation and market share, and blame you (PR) when things aren’t going so well.
If you weren’t able to be at our conference, check out some of the Tweets (#prnmeasure). Look for coverage of the event in PR News and on our web site.
– Diane Schwartz