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How do you measure public relations success?

How do you judge your public relations impact? Here at Smoking Gun we’ve positioned ourselves at the forefront of a more analytical future; just ask the industry’s regulating body.
The process of measurement in any kind of marketing has never been simpler, providing you understand the array of tools available. Insights abound, not least when it comes to digital efforts, brands have access to an unprecedented amount of information regarding overall public sentiment, online traffic, referrals, press coverage and cost per eyeball.
It’s a vast wealth of data, from an ever-burgeoning number of sources, providing a comprehensive overview of what’s working, what’s not and most importantly what could be implemented in order to build on previous successes. So the time has come for every chief marketer to ask a question of their agency, and for every agency to respond with the unequivocal proof that all spend heading in that direction is a worthwhile, effective investment.
Anything less and we’re back to a world of Advertising Value Equivalents, spin and media mysticism. As managing director of a PR firm founded on non-AVE evaluation and measurement principles nothing makes me happier than seeing that old model die out. The problem is there’s disparity between those who appreciate what comes next, and those who don’t. Since incorporation, we’ve been fine-tuning our framework for analysis, and I’m pretty happy with the results to date, athough we’re certainly not resting on our laurels.
Last month staff here on Quay Street were recognised for the wholesale insight they gave one of our clients, and the way campaign achievements were gauged. Winning a Gold CIPR commendation for Best Use of Planning, Research, Measurement and Evaluation for Crufts Factor 2013, we didn’t submit work to be considered for this award. Instead it was hand-picked by the judges, who described our efforts as ‘exceptional’. Hardly something to be sniffed at, realistically speaking, though, such standards are what all companies should now expect from their media partners and public relations representatives.

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