20.10.20 / Posted by jirehconsult

In the line of PR work, some people place greater emphasis on quantity over quality. They look at ROIs and other quantitative data e.g. coverage achieved, its PR value and how many media actually attended a PR event instead of what truly matters: whether their message is being carried in a proper and meaningful manner through relevant channels.

This happens more so with those who are unfamiliar with communications or PR. They only see an expense incurred and must be able to justify spending that amount of money which could otherwise be utilised elsewhere, whatever that elsewhere may be. Perhaps, in search engine optimisation or on advertisements which can generate trackable leads.

Clients may require a log of all that is being done by the communications team to justify their upkeep. They do not see the day-to-day effort that goes into the profession. The interpersonal relationships built, fostered and maintained with external parties that help make a campaign successful. The research and understanding of different subject matters and topics to craft usable material for the campaign. The internal debate over which word works best for a press kit, or what sentence can be made crispier. The sheer number of revisions some drafts go through to make it the best possible work to reflect current situations.

Some only see a KPI cast in stone and whether it has been met or otherwise, not realising communications has several external factors that may impede its progress, just like many other aspects in life. Sometimes the best of plans can fall apart due to events in which the communications team has no control over. Lo and behold, 2020 has been just that, an unprecedented year where most plans had to be rethought.

This is where reports come into the fray. As much as I dislike doing reports, I admit is has become a necessary evil. It can help the communications team take credit for work done well (whether it is acknowledged is a different story), and explain in the event a campaign sees less than desired outcome.

Often, the finance and internal audit teams even want a timesheet to log the actual amount of time the communications team spends on a campaign. They do not realise spending time to fill out this log detracts from actual work that can be done. Can you imagine having to jot down every second spent on replying texts or taking calls to offer advice, or to lobby for attendance or coverage?

As tedious as it may be, sometimes there is no workaround. I pray for the day where communications work is appreciated and understood better so we can rid ourselves of this chronicling of information.