This month is 'measurement' month in the PR calendar and there are many events and talks about how our industry should be improving the measurement and reporting of our work.
It goes without saying that unless you can show the value of your contribution, then it is of no value. But the main problem is not the lack of consultancy will to measure impact, but that clients are often unable to identify the difference we make to their business, that hampers proper measurement.
Yes, we can measure our outputs and outcomes such as coverage, messages being communicated and target audiences being reached. But we need to know more from our clients.
I want to know that what we do helps drive more than just awareness, that it drives actions such as visits to the website, attendees at an event, engagement with a prospect etc. and that it helps an organisation achieve its goals. I want us to make a difference, if not what is the point. Measurement has to be a two-way street to be fully effective.
So, what does this mean for measurement and evaluation? It means you can’t jump into simply reproducing the same media measurement reports that you have always done and expect to show value that resonates with management. We need to show value both in the micro and macro moments and have an honest conversation on how we define “ROI.” To start, we need to ask the right questions. For example: Six months, a year from now, what does success look like? If we succeed, how did we help the business? Who are the audiences we need to reach to help achieve this goal? What touch points do those audiences have with our business/goal?