Quantifying PR effectiveness is an often daunting and challenging task. The challenge is not the measurement itself but knowing what tools to use and how to best communicate and deliver information to high-level executives so they comprehend the value of the work that resulted in that ROI equivalent.
With more ways to gather and analyze data than ever before, measurement is both easier and more complex. If you are not an expert yourself, it’s recommended that you align with strategic partners, firms and/or resources that specialize in PR measurement. It’s important to know what to look for, as some resources might be too time intensive to tackle on your own, too pricey or may not deliver reports that you, senior management or your clients can understand.
Here are three questions to ask yourself to help choose a measurement partner that's best for you, courtesy of PR News Measurement Guidebook Vol. 8 contributors Debby Iacunato and Lacey Trejo of iacunato-mclane marketing:
- Do you know your measurement goals and objectives? It’s impossible to find the right measurement solution if you don’t know what you need to measure. Determine what you need monitored (news, blogs, message boards, social media platforms, etc.) and think about what clients/senior management have asked that you may not have had answers. Think about areas that you have wondered about yourself. Start there and expand.
- Are you looking for high-level or deep insights? Everyone has their own definitions for what you would think would be common measurement terms, so it’s important to determine what will be measured and how it will be delivered back to you. Some measurement firms have a purely automated process while others consider hand analysis and formal narrative. Think like a senior executive and you will be able to determine what is best for you.
- What visual do you want to show? Measurement firms provide media coverage in different forms, sometimes only online coverage for print or closed captioning text for broadcast. Think about what you want the C-suite to see and, most important, who they have to report to. Ask the firm to send a sample report so you can get a visual for exactly what type of coverage reports they will be sending.
Follow Lacy Trejo: @LaceyTPR
Follow Brian Greene: @bwilliamgreene
To learn more about PR measurement, check out PR News' Measurement Guidebook Vol. 8.