“If we want a seat at the ‘grown ups table’ we have to earn it via metrics.” This quote by David Rockland, partner and managing director at Ketchum, captures the shift as Public Relations is focusing more on data to drive efforts. In order for PR professionals to have a seat with the executive team (the grown ups), they need to be able to prove that PR efforts will yield a return on investment. So how do you do that?
The answer is in the objectives. PR objectives are the cornerstone of any relations plan. A PR objective is defined as a specific statement of purpose for a public relations activity. In order to garner the most success, a well-written objective is S.M.A.R.T Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound. Objectives are rooted in goals, focused on a public, results oriented, explicit, and must always be acceptable to management or to the client. In order to measure your ROI, you must understand PR measurement.
According to the Principles of PR Measurement presented by Ketchum Global Research & Analytics, PR is measured on three levels: measuring impact on media/channels, impact on target groups and the impact of PR activities on the organization. The levels break down as follows:
Outputs: For measuring outputs, you are measuring reach using data such as frequency, visits, prominence, reader contacts, tonality, message impact, share of voice and journalistic inquiries. Measuring outputs is easy to do since most websites and social media pages will often generate data to reflect success.
Outcomes: To measure outcomes, you are measuring knowledge, opinions and attitudes, by gaging awareness, comprehension, recollection, recognition, credibility image changes, recommendations, and purchasing intentions. Tracking feedback received from your target audience often does this. You can gather data before beginning PR efforts to understand the awareness before the PR activity, and following up with more measurement during the activity and after in order to collect data at different points of the campaign or activity.
Business Results: And to measure business results, you’re looking at added value such as revenue or turnover, contracts closed, reputation value, brand value, market share, sock prices, and employee retention. This can be done by looking at existing data by the company, looking at the impact made by the public relations effort.
Read the presentation from the Ketchum team here: Principles of PR Measurement
What tools do you use to measure your PR objectives?