5 Scary PR Measurement Mistakes
PR measurement doesn’t have to be scary, and PR analytics can be eye popping fun. Using data to share real information instead of ghostly figures can ensure your future longevity. Don’t be afraid – but avoid these five deadly mistakes!
- Measuring “Maybes” – The proliferation of data means that PR professionals no longer have to use “possibilities” like impressions and Ad Value Equivalencies as units of measurement. If you’re still offering up how many people “might have” seen or engaged with your content, you’re making a ghastly mistake.
- Gathering Data (and failing to analyze it) – Anyone can gather data. It’s the analysis of – and action based on – the data that really matters. Without it, you’re casting a useless spell. A PR Analyst or PR analytics vendor with an experienced services team can help you slice and dice data for deeper business intelligence and public relations insights.
- Creating Coverage Books (without analysis reports) – Media monitoring does not = PR analytics. Gathering a list of media coverage and presenting it in a visually attractive “flip book” or coverage report is only the first step. Analysis of each piece of coverage – was a spokesperson included, how many key messages did it include, did it drive referrals and leads, how long did it take – are what really matters. Analyze results to understand how earned media was most impactful to your business, then repeat the process for success.
- Measuring Outputs vs. Outcomes – Providing a client or boss with a list of outputs – what the communications team did – and not an analysis of outcomes – what happened as a result and what was the business impact – is spooky at best. Today’s measurement must focus on outcomes – and the patterns of success that lead to the best ones. How did we make that amazing campaign happen? What does it have in common with other successful campaigns? Who was involved? These questions help your PR team to repeat success and avoid wasting time on strategies that don’t work.
- Not Doing It At All – Of course, this is the scariest mistake of all and is bound to catch up with you. There are so many resources today to help communications teams execute better measurement. Whether it’s a PR Tech tool like SeeDepth, a manual dashboard based on AMEC’s Integrated Evaluation Framework, or your own analysis method, there’s no excuse for measurement to be avoided. Doing so makes one as brainless as a zombie.
And finally, remember that PR analysis should happen across an entire campaign, not just earned or social media. Any program you invest in – awards, speaking, analysts, events – should be included in your measurement efforts. PR executives are constantly touting how PR is more than just media relations, so your measurement focus should be as well. If your analytics or vendor partner doesn’t recognize this, run away quickly!