The term public relations has gone through so many iterations over the years it has become a convoluted term. With several definitions, a public relations campaign can come in many shapes and sizes. That’s why it is often difficult to gauge the success of a PR campaign. Without metrics, it is a challenge to decipher the true impact of any one PR campaign. By establishing metrics from the get go, businesses can best position themselves for a positive PR experience.
Because public relations can mean so many different things to so many different people, it’s imperative to define deliverables from the beginning. Taking the time to clearly identify what you’re looking for in a public relations campaign will make all the difference. This can be anything from an increased Twitter following to a TV appearance. Doing this allows you to clearly measure the end results against something, making it much easier to determine whether the campaign was a success and if it accomplished everything it set out to do. Depending on the campaign, these deliverables can range from creating a press release and securing press coverage to developing a social media campaign or crafting brand messaging.
Create a timeline
Timing plays an important role in any PR campaign, especially one that is multifaceted. Making sure that tasks are being accomplished in a timely manner is imperative to a successful campaign, and will ultimately affect the end result. Set realistic deadlines to correspond with the project deliverables. This will establish benchmarks throughout the duration of the campaign that will help maintain focus and ensure that the work is being completed.
Many times, the expectations and realities of a PR campaign are unaligned. Because the term can mean so many different things to so many different people, it’s dangerous to assume that others understand your point of view from the beginning. It is absolutely necessary to speak with whoever is managing your campaign, be it an employee or agency, to develop a common ground. This is a chance to find the median between expectations and realistic accomplishments. Having this conversation will also set the foundation for campaign deliverables.
Positioning a PR campaign for success is contingent on the development of campaign metrics. Businesses can easily determine the return of investment on any one campaign by establishing these metrics from the beginning. Taking the time in the beginning to define deliverables, create a time and set expectations will make all the difference in the end.
Renee Sieli, co-founder of ERPR Group, has worked on accounts in a variety of industries, helping to develop and execute media engagement strategy and tactics. As a media relations specialist, her work focuses on pitching and placing stories to a wide range of outlets. Sieli attended The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, where she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in political communication.