PR Evaluation - You are as good as people think you are
PR Evaluation. Groan. It's so dull, isn't it? Counting clippings, managing spreadsheets of coverage from multiple media sources, generating coverage reports, chasing down elusive coverage hidden behind paywalls. It takes a great deal of time and organisation - and that's before you factor social media coverage into the mix.
Running a smooth PR Evaluation programme is critical to your success as a PR teamBut running a smooth PR Evaluation programme is critical to your success as a PR team, whether you are in agency or in-house. Justifying your continued existence or budget can only be done when the business understands the benefit that PR and its outputs is delivering. There are many evaluation methods, ranging from basic clip counting and targets for incremental quantity of clips, right up to using evaluation tools and econometric modelling to assess the value of PR in comparison with other marketing methods.
Despite the differences in methods and goals set, there's one thing that all successful PR Evaluation campaigns have in common — and that's buy-in from the stakeholder. Presenting a deck which states "Quantity of coverage is up 10% y-o-y and we have achieved 15 more reviews than last year" doesn't do anything for a stakeholder who is more concerned with building a B2B brand in the retail media.
Despite the differences in methods and goals set, there's one thing that all successful PR Evaluation campaigns have in commonSuccessful PR Evaluation is more about goal-setting and stakeholder management than it is the nitty-gritty of coverage analysis. How can you state with confidence that you have run a successful PR campaign, proven by your outputs and media coverage, if you haven't debated long and hard about what success looks like?
In addition, the definition of success changes over time. Where two years ago a high quantity of positive product reviews may have been critical, today the business' needs have likely changed. As businesses today pivot and shift on an almost quarterly basis, it's a highly valuable exercise to reassess your PR goal with a client or stakeholder on a regular basis. Each programme or campaign should have clear objectives based on which specific audiences will be reached with which targeted messages, and what PR outputs you expect from this activity.
Each programme or campaign should have clear objectivesStakeholder management and education on the bigger picture of what PR success looks like is critical. We've all been in that position on a Monday morning trying to justify "Why weren't we in that?!" to a senior leader. However, if you have spent the time developing PR goals and defining success together with your stakeholder, this type of request can be batted away by referring to the strategy and success metrics you've previously agreed.
Unless of course you really should have been in that article, and then you're in trouble. But that's another article...