May 12, 2016 / by Katie Gaab

With game-changing technology, practically innumerable communication platforms and reams of data, communication professionals have everything they need to make their daily communication efforts more exciting and valuable. So why don’t they?

By relying on outdated measurement strategies, brands cannot prove which campaigns need work. In fact, 53 percent of public relations professionals claim measurement is their biggest skills weakness, a 6 percentage point increase from 2014.

This industry-wide shortcoming is also an opportunity to build a measurement program that creates a culture of data-informed decision-making, helping you create stronger relationships, improve operations across departments and beat the competition.

To understand how to report your ROI more accurately, get our step-by-step guide, which includes software suggestions and detailed insight. Here’s a quick glimpse at what you’ll learn:

1. Understand Limitations


You can’t assign a dollar amount to each of your communication efforts, despite what various online calculators may promise.


Internal and external events prevent everything from being nice and neat. For example, your sales team may grow or shrink during a nurturing program, an untrackable outsider source may spur conversions or an unexpected fortune or crisis may occur within your brand, industry or country. All of these make it difficult or impossible to capture in your database.

Even if your brand invests in reliable measurement processes (and it should), you must recognize that complexities will prevent you from 100 percent accuracy, and that’s OK!


2. Rely on a Single Source

CRM systems were born from the needs of sales teams. But these solutions can prove cumbersome if you cannot tie the data for your leads and customers back to your marketing and public relations efforts.

To link all of your efforts for every campaign, integrate a marketing performance management system with your CRM system.

This will help pinpoint all of the touchpoints your leads are introduced to, and from there, you can take note of which channels and campaigns lead to the best financial outcomes.

3. Analyze Your Findings


Don’t stop once you’ve centralized and collected all your data in one place. To see the bigger picture, you’ll need to add context to what you’ve found.

With either Microsoft Excel or other statistical software, you’ll be able to make discoveries about your brand’s campaigns, audiences and messaging that you may not have known before.

Don’t assume that any correlations caused certain actions. Ask questions when reviewing your findings, particularly, “Why?”

4. Test to Improve

As previously discussed, the communication landscape and your audience’s preferences are constantly and quickly evolving, which means findings from a few months ago may already be out of date.

Just as your marketing and public relations efforts need to adjust, the sales and customer support departments will need to reassess their interactions as well. But how? Consistent A/B testing.

You can also ask customers and prospects to take surveys, which will provide a better understanding of what to work on, what to keep promoting and what you can remove from your public relations efforts.


Images via Pixabay: 1, 23

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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.