Archive for June, 2015

CliffsNotes on Money Well Spent: Tips for Showcasing PR’s Value by Shonali Burke

Monday, June 8th, 2015

CliffsNotes on Money Well Spent: Tips for Showcasing PR’s Value by Shonali Burke via Cision

i-measuring prI listened in on this 46 minute webinar and have compiled CliffNotes here for those who don’t have to the time to check it out.  I’ve timed reading my notes and it takes 2 minutes and 32 seconds.  So I save you over 43 minutes. But, if you can set aside an ¾ of an hour to listen, it is well worth it:

Key points:

  • In pr, our metrics are often poor, even though we work really hard.
  • We need to show value.
  • Now there’s a lot of excitement about SM platforms but measurement can be confusing.
  • We often put the cart before the horse in trying to make our metrics match up with programs already in place.
  • We must first stop and ask:
    • What are we trying to do?
    • Why is it important?
  • Every organization tries to do one or more of the following three things
    • Raise revenue
    • Lower costs
    • Increase customer satisfaction
  • First, about bad measurement:
    • Impressions should not be the be all end all and mean nothing if not put in context as to what they should accomplish
    • AVE (Advertising Equivalency) Advertising is paid, editorial is earned.  So, this isn’t an accurate measurement of PR’s value.
    • ROI: This is never measured properly so a better option is cost benefit
  • WTF (What’s the Formula) Ha, I know what you were thinking
  • Listen, Analyze, Implement, Improve
  • Case Study: Blue Key Initiative by UNHCR, a nonprofit for refugees worldwide
    • Goal was to increase awareness
    • Since refugees don’t have a key to their home, they designed the Blue Key program selling blue key pendants for $5.
    • Set a goal with the client to sell 6,000 by the end of the year
    • Fundraising was a lower priority of this program since it would only bring in 30K before costs.
    • Key priority was to drive traffic to the website and get people to opt in to newsletters and other communiqués, get them vested in the program
    • Since refugee population tended to integrate well after leaving camp, they were actually invisible and voiceless.
    • Challenge: to find a voice for them
    • Researched bloggers and influencers who would champion their cause
    • Used tracking links via Google URL builder to track traffic from SM networks to the site’s Home page; About page and Blue Key Sale page
    • For example: Inserted tracking link (verses a plain hyperlink) in a PR Web news release to see how many were driven to website via the release. Also did the same for FB, Twitter, newsletters etc, utilizing shortened URLs
    • Also set up a FB group for the champions so they could network and get to know each other
    • Stimulated conversation so champions would get to know each other, also incented champions to “do more” by keeping them informed about results (e.g. 16 % increase in traffic; 258 people tweeted #bluekey today, etc.
    • As a result, champions suggested and carried out 12-hour Tweetathons.


  • Use simple, solid cost effective metrics to measure results including:
  • Google analytics
  • Google spreadsheets
  • Your brain
  • Key goal in this case study was to get people to the web, and, secondly, online donations, both easy to measure with Google Analytics
  • Don’t get caught up in all the fancy tools. Just use what you need.  In this case e.g. hootsuite, tweetreach.

Measurement Smarts

  • Define your measurement universe
  • A small amount of research up front will save you a lot of time
  • Impressions mean nothing on their own
  • Context is everything
  • Begin at the end

Here’s the webinar link:

Listen if you can.  There’s a great Oxfam case study included as well. I promise this is not another boring metrics lecture.