By Vicki Curtis, Head of Media
Your quarterly meeting with the board is coming up. You’ve launched a great campaign this quarter with incredible media results that you and your PR agency are proud of – you could say it’s career defining! However, you know the million-dollar question they are going to ask at the meeting – this is great, but how will all this impact our sales?
With budgets tightening due to the economic issues, boards, and those that hold the purse strings, are certainly placing more focus on measurement and return on investment than ever before. Especially when it comes to PR and marketing.
As you know, PR is something that has come under fire for decades and calculating a return on investment and comparing it to other marketing disciplines is one of the biggest challenges in the industry. But how do we overcome this challenge? What methods and metrics are at our disposal to enable us to demonstrate the impact PR is having?
Starting off on the right foot
Before you start work on a campaign, there needs to be agreement and collaboration from the outset with your PR agency. The first step is defining your objectives – what do you want the campaign to do? Who do you want to reach? From there, align those objectives with the wider business goals. The rest flows from here; a strategically aligned scope of work, KPIs and the commitments an agency will make based on your investment. It is the latter that is perhaps most important. What guarantees will your PR agency make in terms of business impact? For example, many agencies won’t go as far as guaranteeing coverage but we see this as a vital step in putting our money where our mouth is. My colleague Bekki Bushell covers this very topic in her blog.
A key requirement in this process is having the right messaging and content to ensure we can meet targets and get the right message in front of the right audiences. This isn’t a one-off; rather, it requires proactivity and evaluation throughout the relationship. Which ties into my next point…
It’s all about the audience
It’s not all about coverage…once a campaign starts, you can’t just measure results by counting the pieces of coverage. PR and the way we measure impact has moved on significantly over the last few years. As has the way we present it; becoming more sophisticated to demonstrate that PR is making a valuable contribution to the business – and ultimately the bottom line. And this is where an audience-centric approach to measurement comes in.
By demonstrating how your campaign activity reached the desired target audience (audience visibility), the response and reactions of the target audience to the activity (audience engagement) and the effect of the campaign on the company’s goals and objectives (audience impact) you are on your way to really validating the impact your work is having and showing a true ROI.
How can we help you?
When it comes to measuring that impact, we work with you, give you the tools and insight to be able to show how that career defining campaign has reached the right audience and ultimately had an impact on their perception of your brand. But most importantly, we can help you to use this insight to improve and amend campaigns in the future!
If you’d like to hear more about our approach to measuring impact, and how you can incorporate measurement into your campaigns from the outset, feel free to get in touch or subscribe to receive more content.