5 PR effectiveness myths

We will not surprise anyone by saying that many myths surround the profession of a PR specialist. Some of them are funny, some - contradictory, while certain can easily be explained. Disputes about the area of ​​responsibility and evaluation of the effectiveness of the PR department can take place even among specialists in this field.

One of the reasons for such disagreements stems from the multitasking nature of work in PR. That is, when it comes to communications, you need to be an expert in everything, starting with basic knowledge in graphic design to essential skills in copywriting, marketing, SMM, and event management. However, the main task for PR is to have clear and measurable KPIs.

Today we will debunk 5 myths about the effectiveness of PR so that the wrong communication assessment will not damage either your personal reputation or the reputation of your company.

Myth №1: It is impossible to measure PR

The myth about the absence of KPIs in PR holds a leading position in terms of both its prevalence and importance. Unfortunately, this claim is often supported by managers who do not understand the function of PR and by PR people themselves when they find it convenient to think so.

Attracting new customers and increasing the size of the average purchase are clear, measurable goals in marketing and advertising. Yet, how can you evaluate the work with the audience, building communities, brand loyalty, and, of course, the level of information impact? It could seem that these criteria do not have measurable indicators, but it is not so.

To prove the effectiveness of communications, it is necessary to demonstrate how the result of the PR work affects the main goals of the company, product, personal brand, event. Thus, we set measurable task-based metrics.If the main goal of a business is to improve the image of a product, then the task of communications and, accordingly, KPIs can be set as follows:

• number of publications - how many publications appeared over a certain period;

• tonality of publications – whether the product or brand mentions were positive, neutral, or negative;

• the role of publications - whether the material was entirely devoted to the product, or compared with competitors (i.e. main, secondary, or episodic role);

• quality of mentions - analysis of media platforms, their rating, and coverage.To translate quality indicators into numbers, assign a numerical value for all parameters of publications. For example: from 0 to 3. Positive tone of mention - +3 points, negative - 0 points and neutral - +1 point.

Having set the main KPIs, you can continue to evaluate the effectiveness of PR using indexes.

  • Share Of Voice. This indicator is often used to compare activity with competitors and the market. The index is calculated with the help of the formula: SoV = total number of mentions / number of brand mentions;
  • Media Visibility is an indicator of coverage (visibility) of the brand and the quality of mentions in the media. When calculating the MV index, we take into account the role and tone of mentions, as well as the source where the news was released;
  • Media Quality index allows you to compare the objects of communication (companies/brands) with different volumes of mentions by removing the number of mentions metric during its calculation. Formula for calculation: MQ = MV / Number of mentions.

As you can see, it is always possible to check the work of a PR specialist and, in most cases, render it in measurable numbers.

Myth №2: PR only works with media mentions

The PR people who acknowledge the role of metrics in communications are convinced that their main and, perhaps, the only task is working with the media.We cannot neglect the number of publications. After all, if the company's goal is to increase brand awareness, then the more publications, the better.

Analyze mentions in detail:

  • where did the publications appear?
  • what messages were broadcast?
  • what are the dynamics of brand mentions?
  • how many incoming/outgoing requests for publication were there in the media?

Analyzing media mentions in this way will show the most relevant media, how well the audience understands who you are, and what advantages and differences you have.

Myth №3: PR does not affect sales

Setting goals and measuring performance are fundamental in PR. Yet, evaluation is not the final stage, but rather a process that begins with setting goals and ends with metrics. If the business objective is to increase sales, the communications strategy goal will be nothing other than to increase sales.It is practically impossible to expand a business without a well-built communication campaign. PR is primarily responsible for brand image, consumer recognition, and loyalty, which contribute to the overall development of the business and boost sales.

Web traffic should not only be key for measuring the effectiveness of marketing but should also become a reference point for PR. How much new traffic did the media article or Facebook post generate? Were there any registrations and purchases after going to the site? By answering these questions, it will become clear what resources the target audience focuses on, whether it understands the main messages of the campaign, and whether the strategy influences targeted actions.

All these actions contribute to direct sales and, most certainly, affect sales, advertising, and marketing departments.

Myth №4: PR is only necessary in times of a crisis

Executives who do not fully understand the function of PR often consider it to be a waste of budget. They would only resort to PR when the company faces an influx of negativity.But turning to PR tools once a crisis has broken out might be too late. Many crises could have been avoided at a stage when they were just a problem: a negative social media post, an offended customer review, or even a made-to-order article. PR conducts a whole range of actions that work with reputation and aim to strengthen the image. Therefore, if the client has not formed a trusting attitude towards the brand, then even the most well-thought-out anti-crisis strategy will have little chance of success in difficult times.

It is always necessary to react to the negative mentions quickly. This is why a PR specialist should know:• how not to miss publications about the company;• how to identify the source of negativity;• how to quickly assess its scale;• how and on whose behalf to respond;• how to assess the effects of the impact and solutions to the crisis.Any negativity will damage the image of the company one way or the other. However, it is possible to avoid the grave consequences. So, it is necessary to track all mentions in real-time. LOOQME Alerts - alerts that come within 5-10 minutes after the release of a new publication will come in handy for this task.

Myth №5: PR effectiveness evaluation is unreasonably expensive

PR is not free. It is necessary to have a budget to evaluate the work done by communications. Let us take a look at how to allocate funding and whether it is justified.

Professional media monitoring

The first and most important step in assessing the effectiveness of PR is to connect LOOQME professional media monitoring. The system monitors mentions in social networks, in all types of media, and on TV. It then analyzes the received data and even compiles automatic reports according to your personalized requests.

Such a detailed and prompt analysis of the information allows you to recognize negative or important messages about the brand, monitor the activity of competitors, evaluate PR campaigns, and navigate the effectiveness of communication channels.You can find out more about automated monitoring of mentions in our article: "5 examples of insights that content analysis can bring".

PR audit

A media audit of a brand allows you to evaluate the company's reputation in the information field in comparison with its main competitors, see growth areas, and get valuable insights. A PR specialist who has data on all mentions and sources for a certain period can often prepare this type of report independently. In this case, however, a PR specialist will also have to be a professional analyst.

Unlike conventional media analysis, a brand communication audit conducted by professional LOOQME analysts contains a detailed study of the information field and basic sociology. As a result, you not only get accurate charts without distorted dynamics and false share ratios but also a detailed analysis of patterns in communication changes and valuable insights.If we still have not convinced you to entrust a media audit to professional analysts, you can conduct it yourself after each PR campaign or when summing up the quarterly results. You can learn more on the topic in our article “Why bad analytics is worse than no analysis”.

The bottom line

As you can see, most of the misguided assumptions related to PR communication and its assessment are easy to dispel when you have clear business goals and tasks for PR.

Track feedback about the company, account for the negative mentions, create reports, visualize them in charts, and work with analytics even without the requirement from the management. This is the only way to understand what strategy works and where the negative mentions are concentrated. You will be able to reason with the management on how to allocate a budget for the next campaign. Sign up for LOOQME's free trial period and make sure you are on the right track with your PR strategy.

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