One of the major themes at this year's PRSA International Conference was the pressing need to quantify the impact of PR on business. That means not only measuring accurately, but turning your focus away from activities that don't have a quantifiable impact on your business - like creating a long-running internal newsletter that employees toss upon receipt, or pitching reporters whose coverage doesn't reach your key stakeholders. Maril MacDonald and Christopher Hannegan, both of Matha MacDonald LLC, counseled PR professionals attending their session, "Drive the Results that Drive the Business," to take stock of their communications objectives and eliminate those that add no value. Their advice: First identify a number management cares about, whether it's a sales figure, customer satisfaction levels or employee absenteeism. Get familiar with the strategies management is using to achieve that number, and then find out where communications can fit in.
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