As the year draws to a close, it’s time to start planning for 2016. Earlier in the year Milner’s Strategic PR Manager, Chloe Purcell, spoke at an event with BT’s Head of Corporate Affairs and External Communications, Mike Witts. We would like to share three key points from that presentation to help you get your customer communications and PR on the right track for 2016.
If you want to know whether your PR is successful, you need to know what you are aiming for. Why are you doing PR? What is your goal and is it achievable? Good reasons to implement PR activities include: customer engagement, increased awareness, improved sales, brand protection and reputation building.
Make your PR objectives clear and precise. Do not just look at your PR outputs, look at the outcomes, too. The table below illustrates the differences between the two:
Of course, it is not as easy as this ‘cause and effect’ table suggests. A purchaser does not see one article or press release and pick up the telephone to buy your product or service. It is the cumulative effect of consistent PR effort that creates customer trust and brand preference.
As the table above shows, if you have clearly articulated the objectives and implemented your PR plan, you should be able to see the results of your hard work. Review your strategy, look at what went well and what did not.
AMEC, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication, produced the Barcelona Principles (2009 and updated 2015) which stressed the importance of Goal Setting and Measurement. It stated that measurement of PR and social media is possible and they “should be measured.” The principles also state that “transparency and replicability” are essential in measurement, and this is true whether conducting your PR in-house or via an agency. If you do not know why you have got a particular set of results, something somewhere is not transparent enough and C-Suite members should be able to ask their communications department or agency why this is. The clearer you have been with your objectives and structuring, the easier measurement will be.
When you can see the results of your PR activity, both positive and negative, you can discern which activities were most effective and offered the best value. Repeat the successful elements to sustain your PR and brand image. Similarly, you can see how effective you were at creating pertinent, measurable objectives. If any objectives need changing adding to then do it because the landscape is ever-changing. Equally important, however, is not to fix what is not broken. Where something works, keep it and keep working at it. Do not be disheartened if one press release fails to get picked up, and do not use it as a reason to scrap your whole PR plan. It takes time and effort to ensure success.
In January, Milner’s PR team will be happy to undertake a free evaluation of your PR and measurement for the first five companies to apply. If you would like to find out more, please email Chloe Purcell or Paul Howlett-Davey directly, or call the office on 01473 633123.< Back