How to develop an effective PR measurement strategy

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What You’ll Learn:: 

Say you want to get in shape.

You’ll impress nobody and probably won’t succeed if you set a mere goal (“lose weight”).

But if you set an objective—lose X pounds by June, 2014—you’re far more likely to pull it off.

Your leadership thinks in objectives, and you have to track your progress toward their targets if you want to measure successfully, says Sandra Fathi.

In her talk “How to develop an effective PR measurement strategy,” you’ll learn:

  • The importance of goal setting and measurement
  • How to measure outputs, outcomes and business results
  • How to build a robust, consistent measurement strategy
  • How to gather numbers that will boost your budget
  • How measurement may keep you from getting downsized when times get hard

“Will press-release pickup get you promoted?” Fathi asks. “Will Ad Equivalency equal more budget? Will 1,000 likes make the CEO like you more?”

No. Yet people in PR and marketing tend to measure what’s convenient, not what matters, she says. Nobody cares, she says, about your Klout score. No CEO ever said on an earnings call, “We got 50 retweets this week!”

Learn how to be specific. A goal is vague: “I want to increase awareness,” Fathi says. An objective is a way to stick out your neck: “I want to secure coverage in 20 top-tier publications.”

But if you write a press release that lands a great New York Times story, dig deeper. What was the result? Did you see a spike in sales?

Find out how to talk in terms of your leaders’ goals and objectives. Set priorities by understanding what you can and cannot influence through PR. That way you can re-engineer existing programs, and “cease programs and activities that don’t map to goals.”

Gather ways to compare PR efforts to sales. You may see that the peaks and valleys correlate with your PR activity. Take it to the boss.

Find out how a call center can gather data for you. Chart the peaks in calls against your PR campaigns. Add data-gathering questions to your call center’s script.

Tie results to your specific activities, and find out about “tripwires” that help you gather data you need.

Do it right, and you might even find more money in your budget next year.

Sign up for Ragan Training and find out more.

October 2013

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Presenter bio: 

Sandra Fathi

Sandra Fathi is founder and president of Affect, a public relations and social media firm located in New York. She has helped companies achieve their goals for the past 20 years. Her love of technology was sparked at her father's company, where she soldered parts onto a circuit board. Fathi went on to become a technology journalist and corporate communication professional at Nokia, Radvision and VCON, and a PR agency executive working with Ericsson, EDS and Microsoft. Today, Affect serves clients in technology, healthcare and professional services. It has been honored by PR Daily Awards, PRSA NY's Big Apple Awards, Hermes Awards, O'Dwyer's and Inc. Magazine. Fathi is a past president of PRSA-NY and past chair of PRSA's Technology Section. She has appeared on Bloomberg, and in Bulldog Reporter, CNNMoney, DMNews, Marketing Profs, PR News and PR Week.