Posts Tagged ‘Measurement’

Does your PR make business sense?

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011 by Jon Clements

It’s the blood curdling moment that awaits – I would contest – every person who has ever worked in PR: having no results to share with the client.

What is, however, much worse is not knowing what results the client actually wants.

Sometimes it’s the agency’s fault for not asking and rolling out what it considers to be a bright and shiny campaign with a vague notion of “getting media coverage”; otherwise, it’s the client’s fault for not being specific enough about campaign objectives or what post-campaign success looks like. Sadly, for the agency, the client is always right – and you can bet it’s not the client getting their coat!

The marketing communications process needs to be a collaborative one – between client and agency – if it is going to succeed. And that includes making a clear and unambiguous agreement on what the campaign needs to achieve; in other words, what OUTCOME is required.

A fabulous discussion of this took place in the #measurepr Twitter chat yesterday, (transcript here) headed up by Seth Duncan, Research and Development Director at Beyond Analytics.

Duncan divides outcomes into two: business and PR. The former, he says, must be “recognisable and make sense across an organisation” while the latter can constitute any part of the PR lifecycle or “funnel”, which includes awareness, knowledge, interest, preference and action. Business outcomes should connect most directly with the final PR outcome – action. This concept is illustrated simply and effectively in the work of the post-Barcelona Principles taskforce.

But that doesn’t mean the outcome needs to be measured in pounds and pence. Duncan cites non-pecuniary outcomes such as lowering employee turnover or achieving changes in legislation. If that’s what success looks like for the company, then both the organisation and the agency needs to be clear about it from the start.

Then, there’s that acronym – KPIs. I’ve never liked the phrase “Key Performance Indicators” as – from the perspective of PR delivery – performance could be understood as output (what material was generated by a campaign) rather than actual results (outcome). And I’ve sometimes wondered whether clients, when asking for KPIs, have a clear picture of what KPIs they need. Again, it’s a collaborative process.

Alternative phrases for KPIs put forward during #measurepr were “validated metric” and – c/o my ever-helpful Twitter friend and PR specialist, Judy Gombita – “Key Success Indicators”, which seems to make the most sense as a measurement criteria.

As Duncan emphasised: “For a KPI to be worth collecting, it has to be correlated with some goal/behaviour.”

If outcomes are the Holy Grail of PR campaigns, then they’re too important not to be specified, agreed and have their own measurement budget allocated up front by agency and client.

How else will PR make business sense?

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Obama’s Flock

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009 by Rob Brown


At the heady summit of social media marketing lies the promise of effective measurement and evaluation.   There is no doubt that twitter is the flavour of the month and a new application called Twittersheep provides a fascinating measurement tool which helps us take a few more steps towards this objective.

I decided to start with the most followed twitter account; that of US president Barack Obama who has close to 300,000 followers.  What Twittersheep does is to make a word cloud from the profiles of all of a user’s followers. Whilst Obama’s following is far from a random sample it is a big number so we might draw some broad conclusions.  Twitter has a high student following. It appears that the male female split is roughly equal with husband and wife evenly weighted in Obama’s cloud.  It also looks like the marketing industry is providing a good proportion of the social networks’ early adopters.

Potentially Twittersheep and similar apps could provide brands that use twitter and build large follower groups with highly valuable insights into both the demographic and psychographic profiles of consumers with an interest in their brand. 


About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).

Right Measures

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008 by Jon Clements


Don Bartholomew’s blog offers a refreshing take on the measurement and evaluation of PR, both for the old and new media worlds. He offers terminology and techniques that could be grasped by, well, anyone – which should be the sign of good public relations, right?

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''

Just for good measure

Monday, August 11th, 2008 by Jon Clements


The received wisdom of “with advertising you pay, with PR you pray” used to floor me everytime I heard it. I mean, would a client really accept divine intervention as the only route to campaign success (and justification of the monthly fee)?

Being more or less agnostic, I’m happy to add to the debate about measuring PR which Ed Moed has eloquently summed up on his Measuring Up blog.

I agree that with the right tools in place, PR is eminently measurable. The trick is getting companies to articulate and commit to measurable objectives. For if they’re not understood and agreed by everyone involved up front, who knows what’s being measured or why?

Just going in search of “press coverage” or “raising awareness” is not enough – and businesses shouldn’t accept that from their PR advisers. If it was my money, I certainly wouldn’t.

About Jon Clements

Jon Clements is a Chartered PR consultant specialising in B2B PR, corporate and marketing communications and is the founder of Metamorphic PR. Connect at: JonClements ''