If your public relations agency is reluctant to set measurable objectives and demonstrate ROI, they probably don’t know what’s important to your business from a marketing and sales perspective. PR is often prone to feeling like an outsider because they don’t think like an insider. PR can and should be measured in alignment with marketing and sales objectives.
Out of the gate, an integrated agency thinks about earned media as a channel to reach the target audience that is consuming content — and as a way to amplify what messages are being broadcast on paid and owned channels. In the B2B HCM software and services arena, we know that up to 70 percent of the buyer’s journey is complete before a prospect first reaches out to sales. During the awareness and discovery phases of the buyer’s journey, prospects consume information on all channels — paid, owned, and earned.
It doesn’t matter if your goals involve brand awareness, functional association, or demand generation. The point is to reach that prospect before your competition does. If you ignore earned media channels, you do so at the risk of missing that ideal customer.
At The Starr Conspiracy, integration starts with strategy, revolves around bold messaging and kick-ass creative, and ends with promotion. There are two factors that we believe are nonnegotiable and make integration possible and measurement effective in PR:
- PR practitioners need to be active participants in business planning to amplify the message across earned media channels to hit those valuable prospects at every turn.
- The decision to measure must be made upfront — prior to developing a PR plan or strategy. What matters to leadership from a business context should dictate how earned media aligns with paid and owned media efforts. From there, measurable objectives can be set.
We align all that we do with a brand’s bottom-line goals and objectives. We measure PR and how it ties back to our clients’ KPIs. So, if you’ve been told PR can’t be measured and demonstrate ROI in the same way that marketing can, you’re probably working with the wrong agency.