It’s an interesting question.
There are PR firms that claim they can measure and quantify the results of a PR program, with a fair amount of black box technology that, if nothing else, is impressive when displayed in a host of graphs and charts.
Here, however, is a user-friendly field guide that takes the mystery out of the PR measurement process by pointing to some tangible outcomes of a successful PR strategy ( a strategy that focuses on a company’s bottom line).
1. Does your PR result in sales leads?
Positive coverage in targeted media – whether print or digital publications, online outlets or broadcast – makes it easier for ideal customers to reach out and find out more about what your company has to offer. As a result, a targeted PR strategy that reaches your desired audiences can directly support new business development efforts.
2. Does your PR make your company easier to understand?
We all live with information overload every single day. PR can help. In addition to positive media coverage, social media is an increasingly important tool for your marketing team to stay on message while creating understanding of your firm and its services. In communications, simple is better.
3. Does your PR demonstrate your thought leadership?
Sure, thought leadership is an overworked term in the PR lexicon, but if you and your key executives are being sought out as experts in your space – whether by the media, on social media, or as panelists at industry events – then your PR strategy is working. Your status as an industry expert also supports your company’s brand, products and marketplace credibility.
4. Did someone else say good things about you?
Let’s face it, companies want to work with other companies that are seen as credible and trustworthy. A successful PR strategy can help enhance your reputation in the marketplace by surfacing what 3rd parties – customers, vendors, analysts – are saying about your firm. And tapping into the credibility conveyed by media coverage in high-value media can go a long way in carrying that message.
5. Do you get positive feedback from customers?
Probably one of the best signs that your PR strategy is working is when customers comment on the positive exposure of your firm and your industry profile. And if your customers see your firm as an industry leader, they may even give you referrals!
We’re not saying that PR alone can build a great brand in the B2B marketplace. It takes a great deal of time and effort for companies to build a solid reputation and credibility in a crowded marketplace, and there are many factors – including great products and services – required to do it successfully. But don’t leave PR off the table just because some people say it’s hard to measure its impact.
This article has been edited and condensed.
With over 18 years of experience in media and public relations, Rosalia Scampoli is a Senior Media Director of Marketcom PR, a B2B-oriented communications boutique committed to helping clients achieve the results they need to sell more effectively in their marketplaces. Ms. Scampoli develops and manages communication platforms for clients across a variety of financial services, nonprofit and B2B industries. Connect with @marketcompr on Twitter.
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