The Principles Used to Effectively Measure the Impact of Public Relations

public-relationsIn order to run an effective Public Relations campaign, you must use a few different tools to measure it. Here are a set of standard principles designed to measure the impact of PR.

The seven principles are:

  1. Setting goals and also measuring them is important
  2. Measuring the effect on outcomes is preferred over measuring outputs
  3. The effect on business results should be measured where possible
  4. Media measurement requires quantity and quality
  5. Advertising value equivalencies (AVEs) are not the value of public relations
  6. Social media can and should be measured
  7. Transparency and replicability are paramount to sound measurement

Each of the principles is explained in details as follows:

  • Setting and Measuring Goals: Setting goals and measuring them is fundamental to any PR program but before setting the goals make sure that they are as quantitative as possible. They should be able to specify as to who, what, when and how much the program is intended to affect. Measurement should have a blanket approach and include all forms of media, changes in behavior of stakeholders and effect on business results
  • Measuring outcome over output: There should be total transparency in the methods applied to measure the outcomes and they are mostly quantitative. But, to supplement the quantity, sometimes qualitative measures too can be adopted. The outcomes could be of different types and could include shifts in awareness, comprehension, attitude and behavior related to purchase, donations, brand equity and so on. Whatever method is applied to measure the effect on the outcomes should be tailored to the business objectives of the PR activities. There should be total transparency in the methods applied for survey research
  • Effects on business results to be measured: As far as measuring the effects on business results of PR is concerned, one should keep in mind that clients create the demand for market mix models to evaluate the effect on consumer behavior. For accurate evaluation of consumer marketing, the PR industry needs to understand the value and implications of market mix models and develop PR measures that can provide reliable inputs
  • Media measurement requires quantity and quality: The impact of PR as far as quality is concerned can be positive, negative or neutral. The quality of the media coverage should be evaluated on the basis of tone, credibility and relevance of the medium to the stakeholder or audience, message delivery, inclusion of a 3rd party or company spokesperson and prominence as relevant to the medium. Traditional and online channels should account for impressions among the stakeholder or the audience
  • AVEs are not the value of public relations: AVEs measure the cost of media space but they do not measure the value of PR. Use validated matrix when comparing the cost of space from earned versus paid media like: the negotiated advertising rates relevant to the client, quality of the coverage as mentioned in Principle 2 which can include negative results and physical space of the coverage including the relevant portion of coverage
  • Social media can and should be measured: There is no single metric to measure social media which is a discipline by itself. For effectively measuring the impact of PR in social media, the organization using it should clearly define the goals and outcome. Just like traditional media, in social media too evaluating the quality and quantity is very important. Media content analysis should be supplemented by web and search analytics, sales and CRM data, survey data and other methods. The measurement shouldn’t only focus on the coverage but also on conversation and communities
  • Transparency and replicability are paramount to sound measurement: The process of PR measurement should be transparent and each step should be replicable. When measuring media the following things need to be kept in mind:
  1. The source of the content whether print, broadcast, Internet, consumer generated media, along with criteria used for collection
  2. Analysis methodology whether human or automated, tone scale, reach to target, content analysis parameters

When it comes to surveys, use the following:

  1. Methodology – sampling frame and size, margin of error, probability or non-probability
  2. Questions – all should be released as asked (wording and order)
  3. Statistical, how specific metrics are calculated

All PR organizations should effectively follow the above principles in order to project the accurate measurement of any PR campaign designed for a Client.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s