PR Measurement: Turning Insights into Impact

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At the Fletcher Group, we pride ourselves on tying the results of our PR and marketing programs to our clients’ business objectives. While we currently have systems and platforms in place that help us take our measurement and reporting to the next level, we also keep an eye on the latest trends and topics impacting the industry to make sure we’re delivering the best value for our clients.

As part of our ongoing learnings, we recently participated in a series of webinars hosted by Agility PR on why measurement needs to become a part of every campaign and where and how to get started. Ann-Sofie Krol of byBrick Insight, Susan Darch of Travel Alberta, and Agility PR’s Pragya Dubey and Katie Delahayne Paine shared their thoughts on how far the industry has come and what can be improved when it comes to measuring and reporting on the ROI of PR campaigns and programs. Here are four insights from the webinars that we found most useful:

1.      Our campaigns are integrated, and our measurement should be too

Our PR and marketing campaigns and content have become increasingly integrated—often incorporating sponsored content and digital and social components in addition to more traditional earned media—and our measurement should follow. When looking at how to get started with measuring a campaign, what was often referred to throughout one webinar as POEM (Paid, Owned, Earned, Measurement), is a key consideration for measurement success. This measurement approach—which measures and analyzes each component of a campaign individually—is helpful in understanding the overall success of the campaign or program, but also how each individual effort is performing and which tactics are pushing the campaign forward to achieve the impact measures we are looking for. The learnings from this type of measurement can then even be applied during future campaign planning.

2.      The numbers are great, but human analysis is key

Thanks to social media and a number of new measurement tools and platforms, it is easy to look at the numbers (e.g. followers, engagements and impressions). What elevates reporting is the assessment of what is impacting those numbers, including trends in our clients’ businesses, market trends, etc. This is where human analysis comes in. Technology can help, but it can’t do an effective job of investigating, benchmarking and tailoring measurement and data analysis on its own. It’s important to assess the market, look at the business strategy the campaign will support and find the right measurements to determine success.

3.      Don’t overlook getting buy-in from senior leadership

When we are putting together reports, it’s helpful for us to remember that the executives ultimately reviewing them often don’t have experience in PR. When we are setting up our measurement and analyzing our metrics, it’s helpful for us to think about how we can interpret the data so that it becomes understandable to the decision-makers reading it. We’ve found that when we are able to do that, it’s easier to get the right discussions going and ultimately get more buy-in and interest in more and better measurement from our clients.

4.      Connect success with clear business objectives

Having impressive data and campaign results is great but PR wins need to move the needle toward achieving goals that provide value. Before we roll up our sleeves and set execution strategy, we ensure that our tactics will directly support our clients’ business objectives. As Katie Delahayne Paine put it, “the data you need is governed by the goals you’ve set.” We regularly ask ourselves, “Do you know what outcomes you’re expected to deliver?” From there, we pull the right data to clearly tell the story of our results.

Article contributors: Courtney Brunkow and Ashley Jackson

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