These days PR professionals and agencies have to make really smart decisions on how to invest money and time. Budgets are tight, resources are limited, and expectations are higher than ever. It is challenging to decide which tools, technologies, or services will have the biggest impact on your PR efforts. When it comes to PR measurement, however, it is really quite simple to discern. Here are ten big signs that you should pull the trigger.
1. The executive team or client doesn’t get the value of PR
Sadly, many people still view PR as something of a dark art. They believe it is impossible to prove whether it is working or not. The best way to change this mindset isn’t to argue. It is to bring cold, hard data to the table.
2. You can’t calculate the ROI for PR
The most impactful bit of data you can present is ROI. If you can measure the impact of PR on business results like inbound traffic, lead conversion, and sales, you can justify increasing the investment in PR.
3. You spend too much time on reports no one reads
In the absence of results oriented PR measurement, PR pros often spend hours creating reports that prove there has been activity. How many press releases? How many mentions? How many pitches? This effort is usually wasted because it is outcomes, not activities that executives care about.
4. Business results are not improving
If you’ve been busy doing PR, but you aren’t seeing improvement in the metrics the business values, it is absolutely time to invest in PR measurement to help you determine what is moving the needle and what is not.
5. Your competitors are getting better coverage than you are
It is maddening when your competitors are showing up in all the places you’d like to be. When this starts to happen, you have to find out why by monitoring your competitor’s activities. You can replicate what is working and even play defense.
6. You are targeting a new market
What works well in one industry or geography may not work at all in another. If you are expanding the reach of your brand, it’s the perfect time to put the tools in place to understand the PR landscape of your new market.
7. Your brand’s reputation has taken a hit
If your brand is facing bad news that’s received press coverage, or if you’ve been hit with some negative customer reviews, it is essential to put measures in place to understand the damage and react. You need to determine which countermeasures will be most effective at improving public perception.
8. Your social media efforts are stalled
If you aren’t seeing positive trends in your social media efforts in terms of both the size of your community and engagement, PR measurement can be a great way to figure out how to get unstuck. Are there influencers who could help you gain momentum? Are there networks or communities where your audience gathers, but you are missing?
9. Your budget is limited
Perhaps it sounds silly to make an investment because your budget is limited, but that’s what smart investments are for. You spend a little to get a big return. If a small investment in PR measurement can amplify your efforts, you will get more bang for your precious bucks.
10. You don't have a seat at the strategic planning table
With the right PR metrics in place, you can prove the impact your PR campaigns have on the organization in a way that executives will understand. You can demonstrate that it is a series of levers to pull to further the strategy of the organization. This elevates PR from a tactical function to a key player in strategic planning.
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, don’t worry, you are not alone. They are challenges faced by PR teams of all sorts. PR measurement can go a long way toward alleviating them and helping you showcase the value of your outstanding work.