Let’s have a closer look at the first Barcelona Principle. It’s the one that says ‘goal setting and measurement are fundamental to public relations’.
As mentioned in our first blogpost, the walls between marketing and communication or PR are coming down. As a result, marketing ‘techniques’ are applied to communication/PR and vice versa. Content marketing for example nicely illustrates this. But the same goes for measurement. We expect the same detailed metrics for PR as we’re used to getting for marketing. How many journalists read our press release? How much articles did it generate? What is the mood about topic x, y or z? And about our brand? How many people do we reach via social media? I could go on for many, many pages.
The need to measure has never been bigger, but many people get lost in all of the possibilities and tools available for measuring. The best thing to start with, is to take a step back. Have another look at your marcom plan, and ask yourself: what does success look like? First in general (building brand awareness? protecting your reputation?), then more specifically per PESO domain. It will help you prioritize and define which metrics are more important than others. If you’re not active on social media, monitoring what’s being said about your company and the competition can be enough. If you’re very active on social media, you need to know which content works, how many people you are reaching, how engaged they are, etc.
After having an idea about what kind of metrics you need, it’s time to have a look at the ‘as is’ situation. Performing a detailed baseline measurement makes it a lot easier to define smart objectives. These should be both quantitative and qualitative, meaning that yes, it can be an objective to increase followers on Twitter with 20% by 2017, or have 30% more coverage in top 20 media. But it’s also important to be very clear about who the target audience is, how their behavior towards your company should change, and how much of a change you aim for. Next to a baseline measurement, benchmarking your company with the competition can be an interesting addition for your goal setting.
It’s only after having set these clear objectives, that you can evaluate your efforts on a regular basis, adjust your approach when necessary and end up with a clear view on the impact of your marcom efforts. When the goals are set, scoring gets easier.