How to Make the C-Suite Understand the Value of PR

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.

You can change this. By putting a plan in motion to prove your team’s value, you will stay ahead of the curve and show leaders why they created a communications team in the first place.

Proving PR's worth to the C-suite is one of the most hotly anticipated sessions at PRNEWS' upcoming Measurement Conference April 17-18 in Washington, D.C. Tickets are still available and you can get them here. And here are 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

Play offense, not 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. Better yet, bring results to them before they ask!

Find—or Become—an Analytics Bodyguard 

Instead of viewing data and analytics with fear, 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 expert who can help protect your budget cannot be overstated.

Determine Where You Add Value

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, and 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.

Melissa Hoffmann is PRNEWS' Content Director. She can be reached at mhoffmann@accessintel.com. Follow her on Twitter.