Measuring Results in Public Relations

Measuring Results in Public Relations

Every industry loves numbers and data to evaluate performance. Calculating results makes it easier to identify the success or failure of a project or product. Data plays an important role in assessments within the Communications and PR industry.

Businesses who work with PR agencies surely would like to understand how the agency is benefiting their company presence and reputation in their respective regions. This is where the communication tools of measurement step in.

In communications, multiple types of data need to be gathered, and various ways to calculate success based on those numbers.

How PR Professionals (Could) Measure Results

Different agencies and PR professionals have different approaches and methods to evaluating success:

1- Advertisement Value Equivalence (AVEs)

AVE is how public relations and communications agencies calculate the impact of media coverage based on the potential cost of the coverage received. This is an estimate of the cost of revenue attributed to an article.

The main idea of AVEs is that they can let you know how good a person is at counting. Yes, that is all.

AVEs provide no meaningful insights or strategic value whatsoever. An ideal evaluation should produce insights that can help create a well-thought-out strategy. However, this form of measurement only provides numbers and data as a futile attempt to justify a campaign’s performance.

2- AMEC’s Integrated Framework

In contrast to AVEs, AMEC’s Integrated Evaluation Framework provides a consistent and trustworthy approach that works for companies of all sizes, with any objective and budget. This framework provides an integrated approach to today’s measurement and evaluation challenges.

The latest AMEC framework was purposely designed as an interactive framework model, delivering a step-by-step guide with tools, tips, and resources to gather data and follow for the user.

2.5 The Barcelona Principle 3.0

This approach to measuring PR success goes hand-in-hand with the AMEC model. It focuses on identifying outputs, outcomes, and potential impact (outtakes), ensuring to include a qualitative and quantitative analysis of PR activities.

Let’s understand the three terms with a simple example of a new headphone launch by Company A. The PR team’s primary goal would be to ensure maximum positive coverage across the target media.

The agency will aim OUTPUTS: A high amount of stories talking about the product and its capabilities and features, showcasing the product in a positive light through the media. OUTCOMES: The awareness of this product grows among the target public, and they understand how this product is better than others in the market, provoking them to purchase these headphones. Finally, the OUTTAKE: The headphones make a high amount of sales.

Why do we measure results?

Well, there are two key reasons behind measuring results in Public Relations for conducted campaigns.

  1. Measuring results in Public Relations provide justification for why an activity is carried out and how it helped the business.
  2. The identified number can help us determine what was good and what didn’t work about the campaign, which can be used as feedback for the upcoming campaigns run by the agency or client – enabling businesses to become more data-driven.

It is essential to switch from AVEs to AMEC as a measurement tool. The AMEC model provides genuine insights that can be used to create better strategies in the future and explain how and why this is good for a business. In contrast, AVEs only help identify the amount of money a company saves.

Authenticity, transparency and credibility are critical aspects of any measurement and evaluation framework.