Performance-driven PR: Outcomes, not output

Isolating and measuring performance objectives is like listening to only one section of an orchestra for the entire performance.

Isolating and measuring performance objectives is like listening to only one section of an orchestra for the entire performance.

Any agency worth its salt understands the importance of setting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for a campaign. That said, how we measure KPIs has evolved dramatically, thanks to shiny new tools giving us more insight.

These days, isolating and measuring performance objectives is like listening to only one section of an orchestra; you’ll get something out of it, but you miss the rest of the show.

PR isn’t all we do

Thanks to social media and the democratisation of information, the communications cycle is in constant motion.You can’t bombard the media with a press release and have that be the end of it.

Your brand could be discussed millions of times every day. There are countless opportunities to get your key messages across. So, what does success really look like?

The number of conversations isn’t the only thing. It’s the quality of those conversations and how they connect to your business goals.

Traditional KPIs show a campaign’s performance, but they barely scratch the surface of measuring reach and engagement.

They measure outputs, but not outcomes

That’s like basing a product’s success on the number of people who took free samples instead of weighing that against actual sales.

Measuring a campaign’s performance is anything but black and white. It’s all about context and how those numbers relate to one another.

For example, if your goal is thought leadership, don’t count impressions on your website or social posts. Instead, compare site traffic with bounce rate and time spent on a page per visit. Or see if the most influential people in your audience are engaging with your content.

Great PR is not just about making an impression. It’s about making the right impression on the right audience and inciting them to act in a way that benefits your business.

So now that you’re up-to-speed on how to measure PR outcomes, where do you get started? Look no further than Barcelona.

Que?

In 2010, leading members of the PR industry congregated in Barcelona for a summit about best practices. They agreed on seven principles for agencies to effectively measure their campaign performance.

We’ve got a roll-up-your-sleeves attitude when we measure PR campaigns, so we’re big fans of the Barcelona Principles. We’re passionate about connecting a brand’s purpose to its target audience through its mission, vision and ambitions. This isn’t possible unless we link our KPIs to our clients’ business goals.

It takes some serious heavy lifting, but those are the measurement muscles we’re keen to flex when we deliver our PR strategies

Share this