How Do We Measure Up?
Evaluation in PR is an age old conundrum which as an agency we take very seriously and as an industry we don’t seem to have cracked.
Often we are led down the same old path of EAVs because to some clients that is an easy way to justify the cost of a PR campaign, and for some PRs it’s a comfortable indicator. But it’s crude and in this age of integrated campaigns can it really work? How can we isolate the effectiveness of one discipline over another?
All too often we start working on something with the rather woolly objective of ‘raising awareness’. But what does that mean? Have we established how we are going to measure that, is the client putting budget behind tracking, do we even know what we are raising it from and to? Can the target audience distinguish a piece of PR from a piece of advertising? Easy for us professionals to do but are earned, owned and paid for media really that different to the consumer if ultimately the brand message is the same?
As the lines become more blurred, as traditional media relations are supplemented with more and more influencer engagement and social media activity we need to get smarter and better about establishing clear business objectives that PR is being used to achieve and how we intend to measure that it’s working.
When embarking on a campaign at Siren we work hard with clients to establish what the business objectives are, what the expectations are and how we are going to establish that we have reached them. For us it is not just about outputs but outcomes, it doesn’t matter how hard we try, if we aren’t making a difference to the business in the way we said we would, then we aren’t delivering for the client.
We work in partnership with our clients and evolve our communications in line with our businesses and evaluation is part of that. And as most of our clients have been with us for over seven years, we must be doing something right!