Clients Want More of it, PR Pros Agree

According to a recent survey of 520 international public relations professionals conducted by the Institute for Public Relations (IPR), as reported by MediaPost, clients are asking their public relations agencies to measure in more effective and targeted ways.
In fact, client demand for measurement of online communications increased from 29 percent in 2008 to 41 percent in 2009 online, according to the survey.

  • 88 percent of PR practitioners believe measurement is an integral part of the public relations process
  • 77 percent currently track their programs
  • An overwhelming majority of professional communicators taking part in the survey said measuring the ROI on communications is an achievable goal

Yet the survey also found that PR professionals still don’t agree on the best measurement tools and methodologies to use — a debate that continues within the profession.
The survey identified two schools of thought: the output measurers that use clippings and advertising value equivalencies (AVE), and the outcome measurers who prefer more cerebral measures such as internal reviews and opinion polls.
While there are pros and cons of each measurement camp, it’s important for clients and their agencies to accurately measure the public relations program against its measurable objective(s).
Rather than judging the success of the campaign based on media impressions solely, why not value the earned media coverage on shifting opinion, awareness or sales and market share?
While the number of clips and AVE calculations remain the lasting favorites, the good news is that an increasing amount of PR practitioners are turning to internal reviews, benchmarking, the use of specialist media evaluation tools, focus groups and opinion polling.
What measurement camp do you fall in? And why? Tweet me @stevekleber.