PR ROI PDQ, WTH?

How many articles have I read on the subject, how many podcasts have I listened to lamenting the lack of it, how much time is wasted talking about ROI and measurement for PR, when no one can seem to come right out with an answer? Well, there’s probably a reason for that. It’s hard.

By why is it so difficult?

Don’t ask me, I’m a student. So I’m going to list a few resources to check out and then maybe we can have a discussion here about it. I’d be interested in how you or your organizations measure the effectiveness of public relations. What measurements do you use? What metrics? How do you justify your position, your work, your daily activities. I’ve worked for a company that basically called any free publicity “public relations” I use to grind my teeth to stubs every time they did it, but I just kept my mouth shut. I was freelancing, invited in, and not working there very often. Obviously they were looking for publicity, client’s name in publications anywhere, for any reason. What this was doing, I’m not sure, but it was what I was getting paid for. I also recently interviewed with an organization that clipped articles, counted column inches, and told their clients that they were getting ten times worth the advertising space for a fraction of the cost. It was a vehicle enthusiast industry, so it worked for them. But what else?

So we’ve put together case studies, metrics, checklists, lessons learned articles to get you through the day, the week, the year in PR. And we’ve also culled experts from corporations, agencies, consultancies and academics to share their expertise on the subject.

  • Dr. Linda Childers Hon has done extensive research on the subject. I’ve read a few of the articles. Good case studies, excellent ideas, research, and metrics.
  • KD Paine’s PR Measurement Blog is an interesting read. There’s a link to this site on our sidebar.
  • PR Newswire’s White Paper “Using Media Intelligence Tools to Drive Communications Success,” by Nancy Sells, vice president, PR Newswire is also a good resource. Go here to request the free whitepaper.

So there are some resources to check out. I’m VERY interested in what others have to say about this. Do you work someplace where they measure the PR? Do you have metrics for your work? How does your dominant coalition (management team) view the role of PR or communication? Are you married to marketing and the sales determines success? Let me know your thoughts on this measurement, evaluation, justification issue…we’re listening.

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One Response

  1. Check out the monthly pr measurement newsletter and article archive at The Measurement Standard (http://www.themeasurementstandard.com). Most of it requires a subscription, (but subscriptions are free now through 4/15). I’m the editor, and if you ever find an answer to your question (“But why is it so difficult”) please write us an article.

    Bill

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