Posts Tagged ‘PRWeek’

Media Measurement: A Long Term Investment

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

by Tom Kowalski*

Media MeasurementIn this day in age, it’s becoming exceedingly important for public relations professionals to show their worth.  As PR pros, we all know that effective public relations is as equally important as the rest of the communications mix. Unfortunately, some top executives are still hard-pressed to understand the value of PR. This is where media measurement and analysis are vital to demonstrate results.

Recently, Randall Chinchilla, external relations manager, P&G, spoke with Erica Iacono, executive editor, PRWeek, at a BurrellesLuce sponsored round table discussion to underline the importance of measurement in long-term ROI (return on investment.)  He explained that executives are more apt to understand the value of public relations when shown measurable results over time and the impact to the business. 

According to Chinchilla analysis should be done over time, not only on a “project” basis. Yes, it’s great to see colorful charts and graphs that give a visual (perhaps a spike in publicity for a certain campaign) but more important is how that specific event contributes to the business’ goals over time. It’s hard to determine ROI from a single event when engagement from an event can have a long cycle. When a company invests in a campaign, usually it’s a long term investment. Therefore, the results need to be measured consistently as well. When meaningful analysis reports are presented over a period of time, budgets for measurement are less likely to be cut. 

In a digital age, where most of the chatter is online, there are also many challenges to understanding and measuring the messages on the Internet and it is difficult to predict how they directly impact your business. Chinchilla explained that it’s a constant uphill battle on how to best evaluate discussions on blogs and social media (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) and how it affects long-term ROI. The consensus? There doesn’t seem to be any real clarity on how social media affects the future of the business.    

Another great point Chinchilla made was that measurement cannot be cookie cutter. One organization’s goals are not the same as another. A great example is that media value or AVE (ad value equivalent) are not a good single-measure of how successful your business is doing. It’s great to show what PR is worth in dollars, but more important for P&G is engagement. There are many other variables that should also be incorporated into the evaluation, but they are different depending on the goals of your business. Are we tracking the online conversations and what’s being said?  Is the message positive or negative and how is it directly affecting the organization in the short-term and perhaps more importantly over a long period of time?

The bottom line: Information and data come in fast, but analysis of results takes time in order to be impactful and thoughtful.

So, how do we really know how PR affects the future our business? How can we align our analysis strategies with organization objectives to show added value?


*As an Account Manager at BurrellesLuce, Tom Kowalski works closely with New York-based clients and PR agencies. Tom brings extensive knowledge of the PR industry with more than 7 years of agency experience. He hopes to stimulate readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas by sharing useful information related to the communications industry and business in general, as well as different perspectives on customer service. LinkedIn: Tom Kowalski Twitter: @BurrellesLuce Facebook: BurrellesLuce

It’s Public Relations Award Season!

Monday, May 17th, 2010
Flickr Image: Mags_cat

Flickr Image: Mags_cat

My email inbox, probably not unlike yours, is full of calls to enter local PR awards.  For instance, the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) DC Metro’s Silver Inkwell entries are due June 10. Entries for the National Capital Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA-NCC) Thoth Awards are due June 18. To top it off, Washington Women in Public Relations’ (WWPR) next professional development lunch is on writing successful PR award entries.  And that is just the regional events. Nationally, PRSA, IABC, the Association for Women in Communications (AWC), PR News, PRWeek, and others have awards programs too.

Although entering takes time and cash, winning one of these awards helps prove the value of your hard work throughout the year. “Whether you’re an internal communicator, media relations specialist, work in interactive communications, or any other communication discipline, there is nothing like being acknowledged by your peers, so I urge my communication colleagues to enter. It’s a terrific way to showcase your work, as well as advance the profession,” says Shonali Burke, ABC, president, IABC-DC Metro.

Recently I asked Lindsey Rose, senior counselor, Carmichael Lynch Spong (a client of BurrellesLuce) why she thought it was important for industry professionals to submit to these types of awards. She explains how PR industry awards offer several perks for your clients, your agency and you, as a practitioner:

Your clients: Awards give them recognition for their accomplishments and help raise visibility and drive excitement for their programs. Awards solidify clients’ achievements in their industry and help bring their stories to life. Award summaries also often help clients merchandise their communications efforts/case studies within their internal organization.

Your agency: Awards showcase your leadership through best practices outlined in your submissions. Awards celebrate your relationship with your client and reinforce the client/agency partnership (and oftentimes further reinforce clients’ ongoing investment in your work). Winning awards can also open doors and help bring your agency to the table for new business opportunities.

You: As a practitioner, awards showcase your strategic capabilities from research and planning to execution and generating results. Compiling awards is great practice for any PR practitioner – no matter what your level. Winning awards is even more rewarding.

You can get hints and tips for preparing your awards entries on many of your local and national professional organization’s websites. Some great resources include:

  1. PRSA offers advice on preparing their Silver Anvil Awards on their website.
  2. IABC has a webinar on entering the Gold Quill Awards.

Personally, from having judged several awards programs and chaired a judging committee, I know the key to winning is evaluation and measurement from beginning to end of the project or campaign. The best well-written press release will not win an award without showing how the release had impact. The key is to start early, ideally from the beginning of your project or campaign, and continue to document and save information throughout the program.

So now that PR awards season is well underway, how are you preparing? Are there any suggestions you can add for making the most out of your submission?

PR’s Digital Dilemma: When Can ‘News’ Be Spelled T-w-e-e-t?

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Gail Nelson
For marketing pros, especially those with PR responsibility, the quantity of news is mushrooming. Reading everything you need to know about your clients and products, along with everything you want to know about the industry, takes more time than ever before.* 

In such frenetic circumstances, we’re all asking ourselves how we can best set priorities. One approach many PR practitioners are taking is to communicate in formats such as Twitter. In fact, last week I put out a Twitpoll asking my Twitter followers the source of their PR news. It’s hardly a scientific endeavor. So it’s no surprise that as of this writing, the Twitpoll indicates that communication professionals get most of their PR-related news from Twitter. But content is not on Twitter – it surfaces as links to the sites of content producers. (I recommend reading Monica O’Brien’s recent post on “The Resourceful Marketer” to streamline the process of striking it rich in content on Twitter.)

I’ve been thinking about how many of the concerns facing the macro world of media hold for news purveyors in the PR industry. Can the quality of the content hold up? As you may know, PRWeek is changing its delivery model – switching from a weekly print publication to an email publication and requiring an annual subscription. A new monthly feature magazine will appear in the product line-up, along with a re-launched daily email blast.

In, “It’s Still Called PRWeek, but It’s Going Monthly,” a New York Times article published on April 26, author Stephanie Clifford postulates that it may be too confusing to dub a monthly print publication PRWeek. I contend PRWeek is a bankable brand and produces a range of products – such as webinars and live events. (As head of marketing for BurrellesLuce, I purchase sponsorships for these products, and must say I am impressed by the way the publishing staff is handling the change.)

PRWeek is betting that people will be willing to pay for content on the web that was previously available free of charge. PRWeek‘s move is a brave one, especially if it is looking to expand its subscriber base and not merely slash production costs. I am hoping it comes out ahead. People trust its content, and its journalists know how to break and communicate news.

So, what do you think? Where are you getting your content? What are you willing to pay? And will the new PRWeek model take hold?

*  This is why a holistic monitoring service – one that delivers content from both traditional and social media – delivers so much value these days.