Archive for April, 2010

The Proof of PR: Ideas for Measuring

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

 I decided to briefly tackle the tough question of measuring pr because now more than ever it can’t be ignored.  Thankfully, a couple insightful articles backed up my belief that it is possible.

A recent piece in Journalistics, a blog about journalism, public relations and social media topics reminded readers that knowledge of the big picture should be numero uno.  If you are aware of the key business objectives than it is possible to tie back the results of pr to see if that objective is met. Also before even addressing specific measurement techniques it is important to communicate with the sales force as they will know what if any hits have driven business.

 There’s a variety of measurement techniques for both traditional and new media pr including ad equivalency, content analysis, number of fan page followers, number of blog entries  and clicked on links and SEO rankings.  And it is also very helpful to do media/influencer audits.  Media hits are crucial of course but they don’t communicate change in perception.  You have to hear that from the horse’s mouth.    

Now it seems you can even assign a monetary value to Facebook activity.  In a recent SNEWS article, Michael Hodgson explained that social media management company Vitrue  has determined that a company with a fan base of 1 million represents at least $3.6 million in equivalent media over the course of a year (assuming a $5 CPM — cost per thousand impressions). 

But even more interesting was Michael’s mention of a Harvard Business Magazine story. It investigated how much consumers were influenced by a specific company’s  fan page.  Fans of the business were more likely to visit the business, recommend it to others, and feel an emotional attachment to it.

In summary, it’s impossible to have a universal system to measure public relations.  Every company is different and it takes a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods to determine value.  But it can be done.