8 June 2009 34 Comments

Public relations activities measurement: challenges, solutions

Author: yinkaolaito

Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communications & Media specialist, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps Profits and Non-profits with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa) and Africa Foundation for Young Media Professionals

brand-prbrand-pr2Executive always demand returns on Investment from public relations budgets. This has always being a Herculean task for many since ages. This time around Public relations practitioner has to justify their budgets or have their departments scrapped. Today’s demand is pointing to ‘no wastages syndrome’ so Public relations investment must not only be tangible but real.

In my research as a professional to help fellow colleagues or any small business owners who have invested in public relations to come out of this predicament, I stumbled on an article by Mark Weiner which I think will help greatly. Most of the things shared here are my opinion formed after going through the article. Mark begins by saying that challenges associated with Public relations activities measurement are traceable to the definition of value. Public Relations value is subjective to measure. This is due to the fact that value changes in term of definition not only from organization to organization but from person to person within the same organization. Mark then suggested that the first step in getting accurate measurement is to first seat with decision makers what value deliverables will really mean to them as well as the organization. They should also define what Public relations value will mean to corporate goal achievement. They will be able to tell what Public relations value they will appreciate most. So the Public relations professional must therefore begin his job by drawing core measurements that are clear to all about the Public relations objectives criteria in terms of planning and evaluation. The Public relations manager will then use core objective criteria to set the Public relations planning and implementation activities. Then use the above criteria to measure and evaluate as he moves on. The next step is constantly post; discuss assessment of the evaluation with the decision makers. From the above it will be easier at the end of the year to present Public relations returns on investment to the decision makers and no one will argue about the returns. Mark Weiner conclude the article in a great tone that got my buy-in when he claims that “measurement as good as it is should not be viewed as a scorecard, but as a tutor-opportunities for learning and continual refinement”.

Mark goes ahead to say “it is hard to imagine a CEO who would not respect the desire to learn and improve”.

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