On 28th February, I made my way to London for PRMoment’s Future of PR Analytics event. It promised to be a fascinating day, with a wide range of speakers each giving their view on the current landscape of measurement within the PR industry. Whilst each speaker approached their slot from a different viewpoint, some consistent themes became clear, and I left the day feeling really inspired to examine our own evaluation processes, in order to ensure we’re continuing to move forward alongside the industry.
Objectives have never been more important
An overwhelming theme throughout the day was around the importance of setting your objectives and how you’re going to measure them at the start of any campaign. A quote from Richard Bagnall, from AMEC, rang particularly true: “the value of our work is in supporting the organisation’s objectives” - something that can get lost in the measurement of outputs, and internal and client pressure to only focus on the number of pieces of coverage or the reach of a campaign.
Although a client’s business objectives are always at the heart of what we do at Jaywing PR - I think this was the number one take-home message - we should never lose sight of supporting those objectives. If we’re not, we should question why we are investing time and effort, and adapt our strategy and change up our activity to provide a better ROI!
Always challenge yourself
Everyone in the room loved Claire Pimm, Deputy Director of PM priority campaigns, insight and evaluation, Prime Minister’s Office and Cabinet Office comms, discussing the Government Communication Service approach to reporting and evaluation. One thing I loved about how their team works, was the use of C-SMART objectives - not only should our objectives be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based) but they should also be challenging.
Sometimes as a team, it can be hard to step outside our comfort zones, but what’s the point in setting an objective that isn’t challenging? Where’s the fun in that!
Jonny Bentwood, Global Head of Data and Analytics at Golin, also inspired us with a very creative campaign for McDonald’s that demonstrated how PR campaigns can be used to clearly drive sales, not just awareness. You can find out more about the global MacCoin campaign here: https://golin.com/work/mcdonalds-maccoin/.
Evaluation isn’t easy
I think every single speaker at the event touched on this one way or another - evaluation isn’t simple. There’s isn’t one number that can measure your activity, and there isn’t a silver bullet when it comes to PR analytics, and that’s why a lot of PR practitioners find evaluation and reporting really difficult.
Imogen Osborne, Founder at The Pulse Business, talked us through recent survey results, where 40% of respondents answered five or less out of ten on their team’s ability to measure. This shows us that the whole industry is finding this difficult, and there’s always more to learn when it comes to PR analytics.
At Jaywing PR, we always ensure we’re using a wide breadth of metrics to measure the success of our campaigns and help our clients meet their business objectives. However, there’s always more to learn, so a big thank you to everyone who spoke at the event - it was a really valuable morning, and we have some great ideas on how to put some of the key takeaways into practice!
Are you struggling to see the value of your PR campaigns? Is your activity actually helping you achieve your business objectives? Get in touch, we’d love to help.