At the speed that media moves these days, PR teams need to be agile to capture opportunity and upside. Seamless collaboration and teamwork has never been more important, because conversations and stories break quicker than ever, and the teams that can mobilize will own the mindshare in their markets.
From an organizational design perspective, there’s tremendous value in breaking PR teams into regional divisions, but we can’t afford for communication and consistency to splinter across offices. Because of this, we need to follow some best practices to keep our teams in sync, and ensure our PR software has the collaboration capabilities needed to support us: sharing searches, tags, and dashboards. Below are four tips to get your org humming.
“Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” -- Henry Ford
Tip One: Create Consistency
Effective PR teams have strong foundations. Regardless of whether they’re regional teams working on different initiatives (building awareness in a new market, penetrating an existing market, etc), they share a common set of goals and measures to benchmark their success.
To create a consistent baseline, we need to refine our brand searches, and then ensure all of our team members are using the exact same searches in their PR measurement and reporting, to prevent from one market’s numbers being inflated (due to overly simplified searches) or another’s to be lower than they should be (due to overly restrictive parameters).
Next, our teams need to align on the goal and the metrics to use to measure progress towards the goal and demonstrate PR ROI. For example, if we want to build awareness, then perhaps create a metric framework that everyone uses to measure awareness: total quality mentions, key message pull through, and social amplification. This makes it easy for each team to create their dashboard with the right PR metrics, and then share it with their global team for streamlined board reporting.
TrendKite Customer Example:
Maersk Line, with offices in 120+ countries and regional communications functions working with media relations in different regions appreciate the complexity of strong teamwork. They are the kind of customer that benefits greatly from the ability to align on metrics and create and share master searches and dashboards.
Tip Two: Take the Burden Off Your Managers
Effective PR teams don’t just look for ways to make their front-liners more efficient - they also look for ways to make their manager’s jobs easier. If a leader is overseeing multiple markets, product lines, verticals, etc, they need to be able to get a complete picture of their overall purview, even if they have multiple team members under them working on individual segments.
TrendKite Customer Example: NerdWallet’s managers and team leads used to have to log in to each one of their employees accounts to view PR dashboards for individual verticals. Now, with TrendKite, they can share dashboards as a team, so a manager only needs a single login to see all their team’s dashboards and get the information they need.
Tip Three: Don't Reinvent the Wheel
With flexible PR software, there’s a lot of creative ways you can slice and dice your PR coverage to measure and benchmark results. Rather than starting with a blank canvas every time you need to analyze a campaign, get your team in the habit of sharing dashboards so you can pull PR measurement ideas from each other’s dashboards.
A Few Examples:
1. When Tesla launches their next car, they might look back at the PR dashboard for the Model 3 launch and love how they analyzed the industry share of voice their launch consumed:
2. St Jude’s Cancer Center team may want to replicate the widget they find in the Children’s Hospital team’s dashboard that helps them effectively monitor important trends happening in their landscape:
3. When Netflix goes to measure the PR impact of their new original series, Luke Cage, they may really like how the team working on Narcos split out their coverage by different types of quality coverage:
Tip Four: Build a Transparent Partnership with Your Agency
Finally, if working with a PR agency, it’s critical to be as collaborative and transparent with them as you are with the rest of your internal team. The same logic from above applies! First, align on metrics that effectively measure success against a given goal. Then, build a dashboard together, so you agree on what you’ll be reporting on. Finally, share the dashboard with the agency and client teams, to maximize transparency of results over time. This will make it much easier to give your agency feedback and guidance along the way, rather than waiting a month to come back to you with their first progress report.
So in Summary....
Today’s media landscape dictates some layering and specializing of PR teams, but to capture the full PR opportunity, these teams must be able to work efficiently and collaboratively together.
To do so, they must:
- Build, share, and use the master searches for their dashboards and reporting
- Share regional dashboards with their global team for consistent reporting
- Share content tags so team members can collaborate on PR reports & newsletters
- Allow their managers to see all their teams dashboards from one login
- Get campaign measurement inspiration from other teams’ dashboards
- Share agreed-upon metrics & dashboards with their agencies to maximize transparency
Interested in how TrendKite’s sharing capabilities can help your team collaborate more effectively? Just let us know - we’d love to talk with you about it.