With the New Year in full swing, now is the time to evaluate and establish new goals (or resolutions) to drive our professional and business strategies. It all really comes down to measurement and assigning value to what’s important to yourself and the business. In the client service industry, that is undeniably one of the most important questions we ask ourselves on a daily basis.
With that in mind (and as a high-compliance, to-do list making and metrics driven person myself), I recently read an intriguing piece in the Fall 2009 issue of The Strategist, “What Executives Want: Connecting PR Performance with Business Opportunities” by Mark Weiner. With a strategic investment in public relations, Airfoil is committed to regularly evaluating our programs and reporting our current success towards program goals.
In his piece, Weiner highlighted the true value of PR ROI and how to identify the best methods present it in terms of value and ROI back to your client or boss to determine future investments in PR. As a result, he broke down best practices of establishing a measurement of value for the business or client through:
· Aligning on public relations and business objectives
· Negotiating that the establishment and measurement standards for PR are reasonable, meaningful and measureable
· Setting standards and agreement on goals and driving the program to meet or (hopefully) exceed the goals
· Getting final authorization from executives
· Reporting agreed upon results and traction towards overall goals
For demonstrating PR’s impact on ROI, Weiner pointed to three factors that can directly connect the activity to the goals:
· Increasing in revenue or attracting additional investments
· Driving efficiency by “doing more with less”
· Eliminating considerable costs by avoiding crises
A valuable point made, while unsurprising, is often overlooked when it comes to value is that public relations’ value represents PR performance in relation to the investment that the client is willing to expend.
It’s true — there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a solid PR plan for a company. Depending on the size of the business, scale of the audience and timeframe in which the program is to take place, the plan can make for a phenomenal PR presence with remarkable results or can be a flash in the pan. Make sure to consider these points when developing your 2010 PR plans with your team or PR agency, not to mention when establishing overall business goals and the plans to accomplish them.
How do you establish and measure your PR goals? Through value, ROI or other terms? And what does it all mean to you?
— Meg Soule