Measuring how successful your PR efforts are has always been a challenge. There are thousands upon thousands of books and courses that look at the issue but their conclusions are often contradictory and confusing.
It’s easy to be put off when people tell you that without solid measurement guidelines, marketing automation, in-depth Google Analytics and some seriously hefty data management you will never know how well you are doing.
So let’s keep things simple with five ways to check whether your PR is doing its job:
1. Is your client happy that every PR campaign, every release issued, every statement made, is directly and seamlessly connected to their mission statement, to their corporate goals? For example, a company might want to push their incredible customer service because it is what makes them different to the competition. In which case, every piece of communication with the media (and through them with the customer and potential customer) must have this message front and centre – every single time. If this is the case, you can tick your first box.
2. Is your client’s salesforce happy with your efforts? It is absolutely vital that the sales team of the business you are promoting is 100% sold on what you are doing. Indeed, individual sales managers should be feeding the PR programme with positive news because they want prospects and existing customers to hear the good news. If there is any kind of disconnect between your PR team and your client’s sales team, sort it out immediately. The two teams have to work together and the salesforce has to buy into the whole PR process. The two disciplines cannot work in isolation, otherwise your efforts will be doomed to failure. If you are at one with your client’s salesforce, you can tick box number two.
3. Expanding on point 2 – can your efforts be shown to have improved sales? This is a tricky one since it is usually nigh on impossible to pinpoint a sale that has been generated by a particular piece of PR. It is possible, of course, to point to an enquiry that has come through as a result of a piece of editorial in a publication. But what happens to that enquiry, whether it turns into a sale further down the road, is not in your control. You’ve given the salesforce the keys to the car, it’s up to them to start it up. However, at the end of the year your client should be able to point to a growth in orders or enquiries or interest shown in their business. If not, then it will be difficult to claim that your PR efforts have made a difference.
4. Does your client have a greater presence in their market sector? It’s fair to say that a significant element of PR is to increase your client’s customers’ awareness of them in the marketplace. Of course, PR should deliver tangible results but a campaign can be said to have been successful if more businesses are talking about your client at exhibitions, or if more Editors are contacting your client for quotes or reactions to breaking news, or your client is being approached more for speaking at conferences and other events and the organisers recall “seeing something in the press”.
5. Finally – and most importantly – is your client happy? Does your client believe that their money is being spent wisely, that you are on their side as far as the budget is concerned, treating is as if it were your own? Your client has to see a purpose to what they are doing and they have to see that you are not thinking about your own company’s welfare in the relationship but that your number one, two and three priorities are their business and their success. Obviously, if they are happy with what you are providing then they will continue to ask you to provide it and will be more amenable to your requests for a bigger PR budget the following year. Getting this agreement is a clear sign that your PR strategy has been successful. Job done, now let’s do better next year!
To learn more about measuring the success of your PR, contact Changeworks through this link or call 01785 247588