Whether you’re planning your next public relations campaign, analysing your results or preparing your entry to the upcoming PRIA Golden Target Awards, there’s always a good reason to ensure you’re up to date with industry best practice in PR measurement and evaluation.
Here are five reasons to adopt an “M&E-centred approach” to PR:
1) Demonstrates the value of PR and your contribution
Clients, management and boards are increasingly seeking evidence and accountability from their PR teams. How does your work impact on the organisation’s achievements? M&E’s focus on evidence-based practice, measurable objectives and communication outcomes (not just outputs) means you are well placed to prove how PR makes a valuable contribution.
2) Enables efficient use of budgets, time, resources
Done well, M&E (particularly formative research and ongoing tracking) helps us to determine the best strategy, test our approach, understand key publics, prioritise activities, select the most effective channels and tools, and utilise the most appropriate talent. In other words, we can be more successful and efficient communicators and advisors, able to really make a difference to what people think, feel and do.
3) Leads to more trust and influence, enhanced reputation
With an evidence-based approach and proof of results comes greater trust and influence for PR in the organisation. You can justify why you’re recommending that expensive approach, or spending months on that project, or abandoning that tactic. In turn, this can open doors to new opportunities, larger budgets and enhanced career prospects.
4) Embeds ongoing quality assurance
M&E makes you more accountable and fosters a culture of constant improvement and learning, challenging yourself to question, explore and expand your PR knowledge. By embedding the checks and balances of M&E into your day-to-day practice (not just in your final evaluation), you focus on what works best and delivers quality outcomes in the long-term.
5) Enables efficient reporting
M&E helps you prepare, plan, track, adapt, measure, monitor, analyse, and report on PR campaigns at all stages. In particular, your “evaluation” becomes more than just a review of activities, but a robust, evidence-based report comparing results to objectives, analysing outcomes and adding value by providing insight and foresight (where to next?), not merely hindsight (what did we achieve?).
Written By Carol Moore MPRIA, Director of Moore Publlic Relations