Challenge accepted: Why pros know the importance of proving PR ROI

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One the last month or so you could be forgiven for asking us one rather uncompromising question. “Will you ever shut up about measurement and evaluation?” We’re happy to answer with a simple “No.”

Measurement and evaluation, and the resulting proof of ROI, has long been a process at the heart of marketing and advertising. Hard facts and stats that show exactly what a company is getting for their money. Comms, meanwhile, has largely shied away from this for one simple reason— it is far more difficult to show evidence of the bottom line PR ROI, compared with buying up a full page in a glossy.

The digital world has changed this somewhat, though. Thanks to the vast amount of data relating to comms output available to any brand, it’s now more than possible to convince with unquestionable proof exactly what the budget has been spent on. Agencies and marketing directors should be breathing a sigh of relief— the era of real PR ROI is here— so why does a recent study by Cision PR Week suggest otherwise?

According to the findings…

*75% of respondents saw aligning metrics to bottom line impact and proving PR ROI as among their biggest challenges

*69% don’t feel they have enough data and analytics to properly attributed success to earned media

*71% don’t feel they are making the most of technology and data

*72% saw room for improvement in how they use tools to gain a greater insight into demographic, sociographic and psychographic profiles of people consuming their content

What all that means, beyond the buzzwords and babble, is that the vast majority of people who took part in this study could be doing much more to show their PR ROI. Which is a good and bad thing, depending on which way you’re looking at things.

From our perspective— an agency with an exceptional reputation for measurement, evaluation and metrics— it’s nothing short of frustrating. But then leader will always lead and leave the rest to catch up. From the perspective of those outside Smoking Gun, this reality presents a huge opportunity.

By ensuring that you’re one of the 25% of respondents who don’t see aligning metrics to the bottom line as among your biggest challenges, because you’re in the 29% who feel they are making the most out of technology or data— either through in-house expertise or drafting in a solid agency partner— you’re clearly well ahead of the vast majority of competition when it comes to proving PR ROI.

How’s that for a sure fire way to keep the bosses and other powers that be satisfied?