Organizations want public relations to show value and ROI, but they don’t know enough about our profession to provide guidance on how it should be measured. PR practitioners would love to demonstrate value and ROI but don’t know enough about research, measurement and evaluation to make the case.
As a result, progress comes to a halt in many cases. To further your own case for public relations, follow these steps:
o Measure and evaluate your PR performance, whether it’s requested or not.
o Know the difference between measurement and evaluation. Measurement is a form of arithmetic and evaluation is a form of professional and contextual analysis, from which value is derived.
o Make it easy for executives to understand the power of public relations by speaking the language of business. Data is power — many PR practitioners can’t define “buzz,” let alone impute a value.
o Uncover the value system in your own organization before fussing over “what to measure.” Executives will tell you what’s important — follow their guidance to reduce risk but incorporate higher forms of measurement to help them evolve.
o Create a research, analysis and measurement culture within your own PR team. Validate success and use shortfalls as opportunities for learning.