Apr 28, 2016 / by Katie Gaab

The C-Suite expects every department to report its ROI, including public relations. Can you provide what your executives are looking for?

One-third of public relations professionals still aren’t measuring the value of their work. With so many audiences, communication channels and types of messaging, proving the impact of public relations may seem impossible, but all you need is the right measurement strategy and the will to adapt to these changes.

Wondering how to get on the right track? Take a look at these three common mistakes and learn what to do differently to ensure your strategy helps your brand reach its goals.

Mistake 1: Focusing Only on the Bottom Line


Many of the benefits of public relations have an indirect impact on the bottom line. Despite that, many still try to tie the fruits of their public relations efforts to dollar amounts.

Over a quarter (27 percent) of AMEC members work with a majority of clients who request their campaigns be measured by advertising value equivalency (AVE).

“AVE is not ROI,” says KC Brown, general manager of Cision Global Insights. “It’s a metric provided by service providers. It has no established currency value.”

Media mentions are certainly important to building your brand’s reputation and raising awareness. To define your measurement metrics related to this factor and others, think about the overarching goals of your business and individual departments. Your brand has diverse needs, and your measurement strategy should reflect that.

Mistake 2: Lacking Benchmarks

Nearly nine in 10 PR firms recognize the importance of analytics and measurement. But if you can’t provide context to the results, you’re not understanding the whole story.

To get the full picture, you need to set benchmarks prior to your campaigns so you can have a solid grasp on how your brand has evolved and improved.

Look at previous similar campaigns to set appropriate benchmarks. Always ask yourself why your campaigns reached the numbers you’re reporting.

       Not sure what to include in your measurement strategy? Get our free tip sheet for ideas!

Mistake 3: Failing to Change

Slightly more than half of communication professionals claim measurement to be their top skills gap.

You won’t make any progress without adjusting your public relations strategy. And if you’re already making one of the above mistakes, your brand won’t know which path to take to aim for future success.

Look at your individual campaigns to determine what’s working and what could use some tweaking. Then, use the campaigns that have had the most impact as benchmarks and inspiration for future efforts.


Images via Pixabay: 1, 2

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About Katie Gaab

Katie Gaab is a content marketing specialist for Cision. Previously the senior editor for Help A Reporter Out (HARO), she enjoys connecting audiences to exciting, new content. She's a dancer, avid concert-goer, foreign language nerd and book worm. Find her on Twitter @kathryngaab.