It is one of the most debated aspects of communication activity and something that creates lots of anxiety among professionals both in-house and within agencies. The issue is that of PR evaluation, measurement and analytics. I was an interested participant in today’s PR analytics event organised by PR Moment.
PR and communication professionals spend a lot of time worrying about how they can make the links between what they do and the business bottom line. We worry but other parts of the business don’t. I have not seen the same level of concern shown by sales staff, legal people or financial people. They confidently talk about their outcomes even if they would not stand up to detailed scrutiny by statisticians.
It is time for us to get confident about what we do. We can find a whole range of ways to demonstrate the impact of communication activity. The key is not to want 100 per cent success or to worry about getting things totally right. It is important to understand the business objectives and priorities. Wherever you are that has to be the key to knowing what matters and then starting to measure what matters linked to communication activities.
This isn’t something that we get right overnight. We need to start and then develop. It was obvious from today that there is a lot of help and advice out there for us to access. AMEC provides a great starting point but then speaking to others about what they do and how they do it is helpful. Even if we are working in very different industries there are similarities which mean an opportunity to learn.
After listening with interest today I feel the key to making the evaluation and analytics much less complex and stressful is for PR and communication staff to take control of it. We need to be confident that they are measuring the right things and set about explaining this to whomever needs to know. Things will not stay the same so if it doesn’t work we can change and adapt.
Now is the time for us to stop worrying and to start doing after all the only thing that is holding us back is ourselves.