This is the third in a three-part series on creating a PR report that will be meaningful to your organization’s executive leadership or your client’s top decision makers. Last time we focused on the key metrics you might consider monitoring. Today we talk a little bit about form.
We’re not sure why this is, but it seems that many PR professionals are much better at putting the best face on their brand than they are at promoting their own role and efforts. Maybe old fashioned output based measurements lead to a lack of confidence, or perhaps folks just get burned out by the time they create the monthly PR report, but whatever it is, we urge everyone to snap out of it. Think of the monthly (or weekly, or whatever time frame you use) report as your opportunity to put an explanation point on the success of your work. It’s easy if you keep these 5 important attributes in mind. Your report should be:
The executive attention span is short. Yours is undoubtedly not the only report that is competing for time and energy. Stick to what is important to key stakeholders and use plain language.
The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text and 90 percent of the information transmitted to the brain is visual. Visual stimulants are the key learning input for around 40% of the adult population. It isn’t a matter of form over function, when it comes to communication, visualization is function. Of course, it is 2015, so it is also vitally important to make sure that the report looks great on devices of any size.
Life is too short for spreadsheets and PowerPoint, and your time is too valuable to spend it compiling data. Automation of reports frees you from the tedious and allows you to focus on strategic analysis of the information your big data analytics solution uncovers.
Automated doesn’t mean cookie-cutter. Any solution you consider should be flexible enough to allow you to create the exact report that will be meaningful to your leadership team or client. If you are an agency, the report should look like it came from you, not your reporting vendor.
Interactive and Sharable
Making your reports interactive is an effective way to increase engagement and information retention. If you’ve followed these best practices, your audience will likely want to share them with others who might find them of interest. Make sure that is easy.
With these features your reports can move out of the realm of necessary evil. Instead they become a reaffirmation of the wise decision to invest in PR. Think of them as no less important or strategic than your next media pitch or press release. They’ll look great and so will you.
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