Posts Tagged ‘business objectives’

A Listening Exercise – Gaining Information and Encouraging Action from Your Social Media Communities

Monday, June 13th, 2011
Flickr Image: Sebastian Fritzon

Flickr Image: Sebastian Fritzon

Valerie Simon

Listening, as I define it, is not a passive exercise. Listening is not a matter of simply hearing words. Listening requires a concentrated method of digesting the information, and using that information to take action. So like any exercise program, I’ll recommend you do a quick check up before starting to strengthen your listening efforts.

Check Up
Take a quick pulse: Review your business objectives and marketing plan. Keep in mind that social media participation should be integrated with your overall communications plan.

Set Goals:  What business objectives will your social media participation help you to achieve?

  • Sales
  • Donations
  • Event attendance
  • Customer Service (response/retention/loyalty)
  • Brand Awareness
  • Crowd sourcing/ product development
  • Membership/Admissions
  • Communications amongst different stakeholders
  • Recruitment
  • Thought leadership

Warm Ups
Who are you trying to reach? Consider what social media channels will be most beneficial for your organization. Stretch. Extend beyond Facebook and Twitter. Consider Flickr, YouYube, Tumblr, LinkedIn and seek out forums and blogs with strong communities.  BurrellesLuce offers several tools to help get you warmed up quickly, including ContactsPlus™, which helps you to identify new blogs by matching up a current release with those bloggers who are writing on similar topics, and Social Media Monitoring and Engagement solution, Engage121, which enables you to explore what is being said across social media channels and effectively build and manage your online communities.

Are you planning/prepared to provide immediate responses? The W Hotels “Whatever/Whenever” promise may well be on its way to becoming the standard, rather than the exception, in customer service. Social media allows stories to break and quickly spread at any time of day. I encourage those using BurrellesLuce’s Social Media Monitoring and Engagement solution, to experiment with setting up alerts using filters such as Klout rank or sentiment to sift through the noise and make sure that they are advised of critical information whenever it breaks. Of course a quick, well thought out and efficient response across all channels is critical.

Do some heavy lifting, err, searching. Investigate the current conversations being said about you, your competitors and the industry. Identify recurring themes and study trends. Review sentiment and compare how the conversations vary across different platforms. Identify key influencers and pay attention to the language and tone. What topics evoke passionate responses?

Don’t get stuck monitoring the same keywords you have always deemed important. As you study industry trends and influencers, adjust your searches accordingly. Begin listening to your communities even when they are not actively speaking about “relevant” topics. What do they care about? Consider what new topics or audiences may be interested in your organization.

Set yourself up to succeed over the long term. Put in place a structure to collect the data that will allow you to learn from both your communities and your own social behaviors. There are a myriad of ways to measure social media buzz, sentiment, link tracking, share of voice, fans and followers, geo-location check-ins… slow down and take another pulse check. Review business objectives and consider what metrics can best indicate whether your activity is supporting those business objectives. As you embark upon this listening exercise, look at the data in a number of different ways.

Cool Down
Evaluate all of the data you have collected and all your new knowledge regarding trends and influencers. Go back to your business goals and consider how you will align your social media activity to meet those goals. What channels are best suited for your organization? Where should your voice be heard? Where can you build a strong community that will offer business results? Participating in social media will require an investment of time, so consider the time and resources you can devote. 

Prepare to Play
Listening exercise complete, you are ready for the big game… engagement. But that, my friends, is another post!

What would you add to your listening exercise? What activities are included in your daily listening routine? Share your thoughts with me and the readers of BurrellesLuce Fresh Ideas.

Business Objectives and the Bottom Line: Karla Wachter, Waggener Edstrom Worldwide, Interview With Johna Burke at the 2011 PR News Measurement Conference

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Transcript –

JOHNA BURKE: Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and we’re here at the PR News Measurement conference. I’m joined by Karla.

Karla, will you please introduce yourself?

KARLA WACHTER: You bet. I’m Karla Wachter, I’m the senior vice president of Insight and Analytics for Waggener Edstrom Worldwide.

BURKE: Karla, you were talking earlier about, you know, people and how they need to tie business objectives to their bottom line. And I think a lot of the viewers probably have very quantitative-based programs right now. What are some of the tips that you would offer for people that want to adopt a more qualitative approach to their measurement campaign?

WACHTER: You bet. Well, first of all, I want to point out that it should be customized based on your unique business problem and business objectives for your company. That’s the most important thing as a filter.

The second thing is taking it beyond volume into thinking about some of the standard metrics like tone, but really thinking today about engagement as well as a core qualitative measurement as well, to really be able to start linking effectively and bridging that gap between what is an output today to an outcome.

BURKE: Excellent. Karla, where can people connect with you online and in social media?

WACHTER: Yes, @karlawachter on Twitter, and online.

BURKE: Thank you so much, Karla.


2010 Bulldog Media Relations Summit: Aedhmar Hynes, Text 100, Interviewed by Johna Burke, BurrellesLuce

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

Transcripts –

JOHNA BURKE:  Hello, this is Johna Burke with BurrellesLuce, and we’re here at the Bulldog Media Relations Summit, and we’re here with Aedhmar.

Aedhmar, please introduce yourself.

AEDHMAR HYNES:  Hi, I’m Aedhmar Hynes and I’m the CEO of Text 100.

BURKE:  Aedhmar, you were just on the panel talking about the future of public relations, and I loved how you incorporated and said, you know, we really have to step away as PR practitioners from those tactics that give us that feel good that we’ve done a good thing and align our goals with the business objectives.  How do you counsel your team on how to be a bold–be a good consultant and align their PR objectives with the business objectives?  What you’re trying to serve?

HYNES:  Well, I think to a large extent, much of what we’re doing and have always done is really move a story based on the position of a brand or based on the positioning of a corporation.  And for me, I’ve always felt that it’s critically important to understand the context of what you’re doing in relationship to the overall corporation.  So really understanding what influences the success of that brand, which is much broader than simply the success of its product or the success of its people.  And looking at the context of that and making sure that as a communications professional you understand the influence of government, you understand the influence of Wall Street or finance.  Really, all of those things at a global level, even the understanding of cultures across multiple markets is critically important.

And a depth of appreciation and understanding of that as a context setter for what you’re trying to communicate, I think, is critically important.  And in knowing and understanding the context within which you’re working, I think, gives you the opportunity to be much more effective not only in communications, but in being able to counsel your executives in their own effectiveness in communicating their brand.

BURKE:  Great.  Thank you so much.  I think those are amazing insights that we all need to keep abreast of and take our ego out of the equation.  Where can people find you in social media?

HYNES:  Well, I’m pretty easy because I’ve got a very complicated name. And the spelling of my name is A-E-D-H-M-A-R.  And so if you use that as your search, then actually all of the places that I am in the social media pop up straight away.

BURKE:  Great.  Thank you so much.

HYNES:  You’re welcome.

Good PR Measurement Is All About Good Goal Setting

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Leah Schmerl is a senior vice president at Kaplow, a New York City public relations firm. She is the leader of the firm’s Internet and e-commerce practice. Leah also spearheads Kaplow’s measurement thought-leadership and oversees the development of the agency’s measurement programs. Leah earned her Master’s degree in U.S. History from the University of California, San Diego, and is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Rochester.


Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the PR News PR Measurement Conference, and grappling with some of the toughest issues the PR industry faces.

In my mind, the fundamental question that united the day: how do we make sure the decision-makers within our organizations understand the PRNews Measurement Conference 2010value public relations brings to their businesses? The speakers who asked and answered these questions were brilliant and the attendees thoughtful.

Here’s my biggest “a-ha” related to the day: when presenting PR results to the C-suite, we need to “talk the talk” of those executives. Meaning, we need to make PR results relevant to the issues and concerns most critical to them.

To do that well, we must fully understand the business objectives against which executives hold PR accountable. Stop being preoccupied with delivering the fanciest metrics on the block (“marketing mix modeling” or “weighted media costs” at the end of the program. The best investment of time and resources is spent at the very start of the PR planning process. This time should be spent clearly articulating the relevant business objectives, and creating clear, measurable PR goals that map to those business objectives. If that’s done at the outset, good measurement becomes so much easier. And our results will be the kinds that make the C-suite sit up and take notice.

Another great take-away from the day: PR has many illustrative metrics available that make setting PR goals (and delivering the corresponding results) much more impactful than ever. It’s critical to examine the measurement tools available (quantitative and qualitative) and hand-pick the ones that will best “make the case” for the positive impact of PR on the organization’s specific business. This reinforced my belief that PR cannot live in a silo. We need to access the metrics available from other teams – like sales and marketing – to help us create the richest measurement reporting possible.

I left the day feeling inspired by the work my PR colleagues are doing in measurement. We’re facing some of the industry’s most challenging times. We’ve got some really smart people asking (and answering) tough questions. I’m excited by where we’re headed.

A Public Relations Cliché I’m Really Tired Of

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

Steve Shannon

If you are going to play business buzzword bingo at any public relations conference, the one phrase that should sit square in the middle as the free space is “seat at the table,” as in, “PR needs a seat at the table in the C-Suite (another buzzword) and/or the boardroom.”  I’ve been associated with the PR industry for 17 years now and I heard “seat at the table” at my very first PR conference, and I’m still hearing it today. No matter the topic, session, or agenda, that gem is sure to come out multiple times. How is it, in 17 years, PR is still wandering the halls, looking for the conference room with the meeting that has their “seat at the table”?

I’ll tell you why: Because the vast majority of PR professionals cannot tell you, in numbers, how their 71926867_14.jpgcommunications efforts impacted the bottom line of the organization and, if not the bottom line, how their communication efforts supported the organization’s overall business objectives, again in numbers.  In fact, other than senior communicators at any given organization, I’d wager you’d be hard-pressed to find PR pros who can rattle off their company’s business objectives, as defined by the CEO.

Why the emphasis on numbers? Simple: it is the language of the C-Suite and the Board. That’s a cliché too, but it’s the hard truth. No CEO or board member worth their salt focuses on clipbooks, story counts, impression counts, and the like. Numbers like that get a SO WHAT, as in “so what did that do for the organization’s bottom-line or business objectives?” Buzz and 50 cents get you a cup of coffee, bub.

So what’s PR to do? How does PR measure its communications efforts in a way that can show bottom-line results or business objective support? Unfortunately, there are too many organizations with differing or unique circumstances and objectives to provide a cookie-cutter approach or it would have happened already.

What I’d like to suggest (and BurrellesLuce is ready to help lead the effort) is that the various public relations organizations such as the Public Relations Society of America, the International Association of Business Communicators, the Council of PR Firms, the Institute for Public Relations, and the Society for New Communications Research, among others, come together, and lay out simple, easy-to-get-started measurement templates for the universal business objectives of the most common business or organization verticals, which do share common circumstances and objectives. 

For example, hotels all share the common business objective of getting guests to book sleeping rooms, meeting rooms, and dining or catering services. How does PR support this? How can that be measured and numerically reported in a way that shows the C-Suite how much PR drives sales of sleeping rooms, meeting rooms, and dining or catering?  With a measurement template out there for hotels, endorsed by all of the organizations above, how much do you want to bet that every hotel PR professional out there not measuring bottom-line results or business objective support would start? 

Imagine if there was a template out there for your industry? Wouldn’t you start measuring how your PR efforts deliver bottom-line results or support business objectives?