What gets measured gets managed
Reporting can be one of the most challenging parts of a PR professional’s job, but it’s also one of the most critical. It creates the opportunity to review what worked, what didn’t, where you can improve… not to mention the opportunity to look good in front of your boss! In a world of big data, communicators have a key role to play in turning PR language into value-driven measurement: where possible, the effect of PR and social media campaigns on business results should be measured. And when it’s not about ROI, qualitative measures and relevant metrics should also help to demonstrate the value of PR.
This is not a new issue. For years proponents of data-driven decision making have encouraged public relations professionals to move toward more objective quantitative and qualitative measures, involving multiple dimensions of PR effectiveness. And a few weeks ago, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communications (AMEC) hosted the world’s biggest summit on public relations to focus upon the perceived gap between understanding the importance of PR measurement and putting it into action.
Much has been said and written about the complexity of tracking PR results, including many valuable tips and real-life examples. When asked to share her favorite measurement tools, Shonali Burke, award-winning president & CEO of Shonali Burke Consulting, just said: “I actually have three: Microsoft Excel (or Google Spreadsheets), Google Analytics… and the one thing we all have and should use – a brain!”
Words to action!
What do you need to measure? Understanding what you want to achieve is key. Don’t hesitate to invest time up front with your evaluation provider, your client, or your agency to agree on the ultimate “outcome” instead of focusing on generating “outputs”.
Then, you need to know what value you are getting from your media monitoring and social intelligence platforms: a simple Excel spreadsheet can do the job. If you are unfamiliar with reporting on PR results or just wish to save your time, get started with our free PR success template!
We offer 3 excel spreadsheet examples to best suit your business goals: boost sales, enhance awareness and increase market share. These are a few examples of many measurable objectives you may want to achieve with your communications. In any case, opening up measurement and analytics across your PR, marketing and sales departments is essential to prevent siloed and incomplete measures.
Your PR report must first and foremost be tailored for your unique needs. So, try it for yourself! Roll up your sleeves and use the dedicated sheet.
Our approach should help focus on meaningful metrics and help you find new ways to develop. Also, keep in mind that Excel spreadsheets should not be an end in themselves. Some results don’t fit on a spreadsheet, in particular data interpretation whether your own, or the one provided by a dedicated analyst.