PR has come a long way in the last few decades when it comes to measurement and evaluation. Reporting on the equivalent advertising value (EAV) or circulation figures of media clips is no longer enough when software like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights now show users the clear correlation between activity and results. Clients demand real ROI from their PR agency, and why shouldn’t they!
So how do you measure the value or PR? What should you be reporting on? And how do you know if you’re getting value from your agency?
One thing is for sure, measuring the value of PR doesn’t need to include elaborate graphs or fancy terms. Your PR consultant should be able to explain activity, results and if necessary, recommendations to you clearly and confidently.
See below five ways to consider measuring the value of your PR activity.
1. Report on what truly matters
Think back to the reasons you engaged a PR agency, was it to grow your social media following, increase your media presence or attract more people to your website? Data is easier than ever to access, but it’s easy than ever to get distracted by all the numbers and lose sight of what really matters. Get back to basics by focusing on your goals and only report on how you’re tracking in these areas.
2. Align PR with your business objectives.
PR will be much more meaningful when it’s linked to business objectives that drive profit. For example, if your goal is to increase corporate investment, task your PR team with drafting a capabilities brochure or reworking your financial reports. If you’re not sure what PR activity will help to achieve your business goals, ask. Recommending the right activity for you is our job!
3. Look at your share of voice
If media outreach is part of your PR activity, have a look at your share of voice compared to your competitors to gauge whether it’s working. Concentrate on the top 5 or 10 media outlets you want to appear in based on what your audience is reading and focus most of your efforts there. Consider adding a ‘how did you hear about us’ question on your website forms or social pages to understand if people are being driven to other channels from media activity.
4. Pay attention to qualitative data and ‘warm leads’
While it is not the primary goal of PR to drive sales, sometimes we're just that good! That's why creating an open dialogue with clients – and even your sales team – is necessary. It's important to check in regularly with your internal team to ask if PR is driving results for their department. You might be surprised to learn that one media story or social media campaign drove a $100,000 deal!
5. Constantly revisit the scope of work
With any retainer or campaign agreement, there should be a clear scope of work including KPI’s and deadlines. If you’re questioning the value of the activity, check the scope of work and talk with your account manager about whether this needs to be revisited. Most consultants will constantly be checking the scope of work to make sure they’ve delivered what was agreed and be willing to work with you to create a scope that is right for your business.
As PR professionals, we are required to be honest and transparent in our work – and that should extend through everything we do. At Elevate Communication, we pride ourselves on our clear metrics, transparent reporting, and regular activity updates. If you’re interested to learn more, give us a call!