Advancing communications measurement and evaluation

Why PR Professionals Should Create a Standard of Measure

Remember the beginning of the year? Looking out upon 2017 and setting the strategic goals to become a data driven communications team? The new year got rolling and your data driven dreams took a backseat to just trying to keep up with the day-to-day business routines.

Next thing you know, it’s coming up on the last quarter of the year and your social feed is full of AMEC Measurement Month tweets, invites to webinars, and chatter about killing those AVEs. I have seen this play out several times for teams large and small.

The effort it takes to establish a measurement standard is not a Herculean task. The hardest part is getting started. The second hardest part is selling the team on change. The effort required to make a change and remain disciplined and dedicated to the task pays off. The key is to stick with it.

Why create a Standard of Measure?

Creating a standard of measure provides a tool with which to inform the business with data. The value of data is the ability to interpret the data, inform the business of outcomes, and make strategic decisions based on facts.

Sharing data across the entire business allows your company to

  1. Acquire institutional knowledge: Other internal teams will be more likely to share information when insights are shared with them.
  2. Generate feedback: Looking outside the team provides an opportunity to hear how the team is perceived in contributing to the success of the business.
  3. Reduce risk: Having reliable information about past choices and consequences informs current decisions and minimizes risk.
  4. Help drive performance and growth: By avoiding or minimizing risk, data advises the business on how best to proceed in the current environment.

The Story vs. The Data

Public relations communicators have been telling the brand story along with the marketing team as a means to create engagement, manage brand reputation, and embed desired messaging in the readers’ and consumers’ psych. Data is another means by which to explain the story. Getting started isn’t too far off from where most teams are today.

Think about the questions that may come up at your meetings:

  • “How much coverage did our company have vs. our competitors?”
  • “How bad was the news about the crisis we just encountered?”
  • “Was the brand reputation impacted by the recent event reported in the news?”

Instead of just showing charts and graphs – weave the story through the data. A clear and concise narrative about the context of the data doesn’t have to be nerd-speak. It should allow the reader to understand the context of the data without requiring a long explanation.

The value of data is the contextual story it helps shape.

Begin with what you know and if you need help, find experts to help guide you along the data-driven decision journey. Your goal is to analyze the news to provide an accurate assessment of the impact of the communications efforts of the organization.

Creating a standard of measure to share data across your business and finding the story in the data will allow data to inform the decisions your business makes.

Roxane Papagiannopoulos

Roxane Papagiannopoulos

Roxane Papagiannopoulos, Managing Director, Analysis CARMA North America, is an experienced public relations measurement professional helping clients understand and measure their outcomes. Roxane brings nearly 20 years of experience in the public relations and communications industry and founded RMP Media Analysis a media intelligence consultancy.
Roxane Papagiannopoulos
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