Over the past ten years, the social use and demand for technology have manipulated the way in which we assess information in the Public Relations field. Previously, PR firms were hired to manage the communication strategies of a company by informing, persuading, and integrating the audience. Although these century-old methods are still used today, it has always been extremely difficult to evaluate the effectiveness behind these messages. For example, public perception of a communication campaign is a tricky category to gauge without using some type of system to judge what makes that campaign strategic and powerful.
Today, PR agencies use analytics to understand what strategies work and don’t work. While this strategy is less time-consuming and creates a sophisticated set of data to observe the effectiveness of a campaign, there are a few tasks to keep in mind before generating a framework for a successful analytics report.
Clear and Organized Goals
The main staple of a PR firm is to increase awareness. Understanding the client’s perspective and where they would like to expand the message will assist in developing an efficient way to measure that message beyond simply spreading the word. Whether the goal is to generate visits to the website or lead visitors to a specific event, a clear goal should be set out. A “25% increase in website visits” can be efficiently measured in a variety of ways to receive feedback on the quality and aim of the campaign.
PR efficacy relies mostly on research awareness. For successful research to be completed, the team must have a base understanding of where public perception currently is and how it changes once the information has been released. The progression of the data provides the PR clients with a map to plan-out how they should engage the audience with their content. Despite the product, service or issue being observed, it is better to understand the market research prior to the creation of the strategic message.
Evaluate and Act
Finally, the measurement is analyzed for the effect the communication campaign had on the audience. What has changed and what has remained stagnant? By observing what characteristics of the company were altered by the message, one must consider the time saved and the initiative behind the following PR campaign. Tools like Google Analytics and Cision are available for clients and agencies to grow upon the measurements these services provide. Making these measurements a priority and acting on the results will facilitate an advantage on the quality of the company’s objectives.