Measure what matters
Did you know that November is Measurement month? Measurement month has been with us for about 25 years but PR measurement dates back as far as PR does. Want to nerd out and read about the history of measurement? You can, courtesy of Katie Paine who posted Tom Watson’s excellent paper “The evolution of evaluation – the accelerating march towards the measurement of public relations effectiveness.”
I spend a lot of time figuring out how to show that PR and communications efforts move businesses forward and how you can communicate it to the people who need to know. To do that you need to know several things:
What the high-level business goals, imperatives, or initiatives are
What makes up your communications mix and how you are applying it to the business goals not just the communications goals
Where you are starting from; without a baseline you have nothing to measure against
A way to quickly and easily share your results
Where to start? If you’re new to communications measurement I suggest you explore the following:
Getting Started with Communications Measurement by Angela Sinickas
PRIMER: Introduction to PR Planning provided by AMEC
Measurement Resources provided by PRSA
It’s important to understand the Barcelona Principles and the value of a communications audit.
The best dashboards are built to show movement toward a business goal and not around a list of tactical measurements. If I can tell a coordinated story of progress toward a goal then I don’t need to explain the data, the data explains itself. Is it hard to do? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely!