It’s an unfortunate reality that some C-suite executives are either unaware or unconvinced of how communications and PR are providing value to their business, which can lead to slashed budgets and high turnover rates.
The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case. By putting a plan in motion to prove your team’s value, you can stay ahead of the curve and remind leaders why they created a communications team in the first place.
In PR News’ upcoming Measurement Guidebook, Brent Diggins, partner, measurement & analytics at Allison + Partners, shares six steps you can take to show PR's value in a way that your company’s leadership will understand:
First Change Your Own Mindset
It is better to play offense than defense. Don’t wait until you and your team are asked to prove your value to the business. Start a measurement program now so that when the inevitable happens and the C-suite wants proof of communication’s contributions to the organization, you’ve already got it in hand.
Find—or Become—an Analytics Bodyguard
Instead of viewing data and analytics with fear and dismay, remember that it will help prove what your communications endeavors are doing for the company—and they are definitely building brand awareness and driving profits. So you need to make sure you have someone you can rely on to help you with your measurement efforts. Whether this person is an existing employee or an outside agency, the importance of having an analytics person who can help protect your budget cannot be overstated.
Determine Where You Add Value
Along with your bodyguard, figure out what exactly you and your team’s function is within the company and how you are contributing to its success. You can be sure that proving a financial correlation between communications programs and sales is a metric that every C-suite will appreciate, but other metrics that will prove value may change depending on industry and company size. Regardless of what they are, investing the time to determine what goals you have as a team will help point you to the data that matters.
Unearth the Value With a Measurement Plan
Now that you’ve determined the data you need, you must begin retrieving it. Run customer surveys, review website and social media analytics, invest in a third-party analytics tool—work with your resident measurement master to uncover the best data that will prove the value of your team’s work.
Leverage Your Data to Optimize Your Efforts
Look at your data in context to see how you can boost the success of your communications plans. This way you can kill two birds with one stone—prove the value of what you’re already doing, and visualize how you can optimize your current efforts to bring in even more profits and brand awareness.
Tell a Good Story
Use your communications skills to your advantage when showing the C-suite your value reports. Rather than just putting numbers on a page and hoping they come across in the way you want, craft a compelling story using language that leadership cares about and use a format that fits with their wants and needs. By creating a good story with the insights you’ve gleaned, you make it much harder for the C-suite to dismiss the value of communications.