PR Measurement has emerged as an integral part of the entire public relations field. The problem with this exercise is coming up with a way of carrying out the measurement. Everyone you ask will give you a different answer regarding how PR should be measured. You will never get a uniform answer and this matter seems to have been left to each PR firm to decide on what they think is the best way of undertaking such an exercise. The fact that PR has certain aspects that are more complex than others are, also makes it harder to measure PR effectively, although the industry as a whole has made efforts to standardize measurement.
What Do Clients Think of PR Measurement?
Clients realize and understand that PR strategies are necessary but are also coming to grips with the need for effective PR measurement. First, it is important to mention the fact that clients are quite sensitive regarding everything to do with measuring PR. The most important area for clients using PR services is that of pricing. However, they are quite clear regarding what they think PR should be, and demand a lot in terms of the effectiveness of any PR strategy. Most clients ask for a proper breakdown regarding how each PR strategy is targeted for the industry or public. With fragmentation within media the need for PR measurement has been realized.
Clients understand that PR firms have adapted to online communications, and they demand for these services to be measured as well. This field grew to 41% in 2009, up from a low of 29% only a year earlier in 2008. Secondly, the evaluation of broadcast media has grown quite substantially as demanded by clients. This field grew to 25% in 2009, up from around 15% that was reported 12 months earlier in 2008. Clients have no problem with commissioning single country PR measurement programs, a field that has grown by as much as 77% recently.
Procurement Specialists Love PR Evaluation
Procurement specialists are not left behind at all. They demand better PR evaluation and measurement undertakings compared to what their counterparts use. Measuring the return on investment (ROI) for most PR efforts is not as difficult as it was before the Internet. The only challenge with this issue, regards the ‘how to’ question. Close to 80% of modern clients and businesses, government agencies and all manner of organizations prefer to measure their PR efforts. This increase is quite huge compared to the 69% that measured PR only 5 years ago.
Common Tools Used to Evaluate PR
Tools used by PR firms and professionals to measure Public Relations include the following;
> Press clippings, which has remained a favorite across a wide range of PR firms
> Advertising Value Equivalent, which is abbreviated as AVE
> Internal Reviews
> Media tools used by Specialists
> All forms of opinion polls
> All varieties of focus groups
PR Measurement is Often Classified in Two Groups, Namely:
> Output measurements, which includes Advertising Value Equivalent and press clippings
> Outcome measurements, which includes internal reviews and opinion polls as well as focus groups, and is more costly and complex compared to output measures.
In summary, it is worth pointing out that PR measurement is integral to modern business. This highly effective tool helps PR firms and their clients to evaluate the effectiveness of their Public Relations efforts and exercises.