Public sector comms teams need to start making sure they are properly demonstrating the effectiveness of their efforts, with new guidelines suggesting 1/10 of overall budgets should go on PR evaluation.
And with that everyone here in the Smoking Gun office breathed a sigh of relief. After all, this supports everything we have advised our clients on, and practiced ourselves, for years now.
The recommendations have been given to staff across the UK public sector in a bid to help improve PR evaluation methods, which in turn can save money by streamlining and fine-tuning output. The idea being better measurement of success leads to better results.
It brings to mind our blog from back in April— ‘Why PR measurement and evaluation matters to your brand’. This, along with our advisory posts on ‘How to measure PR ROI‘ and ‘How to drive leads and sales using PR measurement metrics‘ offered both clear instructions on the best way to analyse comms efforts, and a strong argument for developing a robust approach to PR evaluation overall.
Just in case you missed it, though…
…allow us to recap. In the simplest terms, whenever you launch a campaign or indeed engage with any type of outbound comms work, it’s vital that the repercussions and impact of this is assessed properly.
That’s because your assessment can then be used to guide what steps the comms team will take next. All of which brings to mind one big question…
What do we base PR evaluation on?
Micheal Schneider, Vice President of Public Relations at ADP, reckons the only way to approach PR evaluation is by aligning your comms strategy with the overall objectives of the business. This way it’s possible to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that PR and marketing is directly influencing the company’s direction.
This has long been a major hurdle for agencies and in-house comms teams. C-suite executives, or in lay terms the main decision makers in any given company, have dramatically changed their view on the importance and value of comms, PR and marketing in recent times. But for many years they didn’t grasp exactly how influential this work is in every aspect of an organisation.
Thankfully the majority in this professional demographic now do, but the only way to ensure this situation stays constant is by providing unarguable evidence of your working. And the only way to do that is through effective PR evaluation.
Not everyone is onboard, but those that aren’t risk drowning
Bringing things back up to date, last week we wrote about how struggling businesses often take steps to try and slash red ink and rein-in spending, with marketing, PR and comms usually amongst the first to feel the pinch. However, this isn’t the solution.
The fact some still take that sort of action only serves to prove how much work there is still to be done before comms has its place cemented at the top table of business. When you’re in a world of numbers and evidence strong and compelling results is the only thing that matters, presented in an easily understandable format thanks to effective PR evaluation.