To encourage more PR professionals, working in consultancy and in-house, to regard PR measurement as an everyday part of what they do, the Public Relations Consultants Association fromthe UK and the International Organisations ICCO and AMEC have released this handy ‘PR Guide to Measurement‘.
They have included several chapters, including one dedicated to the Barcelona Principles, the result of a meeting in said city in 2010 with PR professionals of 33 nationalites, another dedicated to measure social media, and one with an example: the Nelson Mandela International Day, by Inzalo Communication in South Africa. And, the glossary of terms of the guide is defenitely very complete, yeah!
Here is a summary of some of the main things that have called our attention:
- AVE or Advertisement value is dead for sure!
- And then, you gotta forget about multiplying that cost by anywhere from 2 to 7, claiming that earned media was that much more valuable than paid media. Just grow up!
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are quantifiable (numeric) measures that enable you to show progress over time too. If you for reals like numbers, use those!
- Aim for the right impact. Become obsessive -yeah, we all do- about “how did this change behaviour?” not how much coverage it got
- Keep in mind that PR is NOT about column inches
- Evaluating means quantitative and qualitative research. Sentiment, share of voice, engagement and message are crucial indicators of your clips
- Social media can be measured, also by stating URL visits, reflecting your website analytics, click-throughs, comments and letters of response. Here you can find a Valid Metrics Framework, updated at the recent European Summit in Madrid in June 2013 and you can find more info on twitter by seacrhingthe hastag #smmstandards
- Business ROI or Return on Investment– the impact of on the target audience vs the spend on the campaign- shall not be based on an economic number. It is a very ill understood term, and some claim that it cannot be accurately calculated for non-financial programs
- You can use some economic numbers to provide your client if you insist with cost-per-targeted impression, cost-per-lead or cost-per-unique visitor
- But, if you still want to use ROI, cos you just cannot live without it, make sure you give it right. Here is how you shall do it and your shall provide a percentage or ratio.
- And remember, ROI in PR is not about the sales or the impact on the bottom line, it is about the reputation, the target perceptions, changes and influences
- You can refect thus outputs like volume of coverage, tone and favorability or size and reach, but don’t obsess about a number, focus on demonstrating the link between activities and outcomes.
- Measure the effect on outcomes rather than outputs! So, instead of leaving the measurement just at what we have generated (outputs), focus on what this work has actually achieved (out-takes / outcomes)
- Reflect things like delivery of key messages, spokesperson impact, depth of discussion around key topics and competitor analysis/share of voice
- Avoid measurement at your own peril