30.11.18 / Posted by jirehconsult

How do we evaluate if a PR campaign has been successful? This is a billion dollar question that begs to be answered. Due to the very nature of PR, the measurement is very subjective. Many PR practitioners have many different ways to declare their PR campaign a success. And, it all boils down to expectations.

For now (still), most companies and PR practitioners (agency or internal) would only measure from a quantitative perspective.

What is a quantitative success? It is easy. It is all the things we can count such as:

  1. The number of media in attendance
  2. The number of media coverage achieved
  3. The media coverage value achieved

From my observations, not many people including PR practitioners truly understand how PR works. Hence, the idea that quantitative success is enough. In actual fact, there is a large chunk of the PR outcome iceberg that is not seen and is much harder to gauge i.e. the qualitative aspect of the result.

Qualitative is a word derived from quality. In the PR world, the qualitative aspect basically means analysing the results much deeper. Using a very simple example based on the quantitative measurements, we delve deeper:

Number of media attendance

  • Were the media who attended the event relevant to the story or company?
  • Did the media find the event value-adding the narrative or even providing a better story that cannot be attained otherwise?
  • Was the press material prepared sufficient?

The number of media coverage achieved

  • Did the story carry our intended PR message?
  • Did the story highlight more positives or more negatives?
  • Was the story published in the relevant section?

In my honest opinion, quantitative and qualitative successes are equally important. However, it is not easy to achieve both at the same time due to many parameters.

Top most on the reasons why some planned PR campaigns are hugely successful is the close working relationship and trust between client and agency. This allows for accurate anticipation of potential situations as well as accurate and timely information to be disseminated. PR when done right, will boost the brand or company’s reputation and can be an insurance in time of crisis.

What PR is not, is as a mere tool to boost sales or to make the top gun famous and happy.

Unfortunately, PR is still an unknown subject for many people, unlike advertising. I have been in this industry for so many years and I am still explaining what PR actually is and does, and this includes to the newbies in the office. I am looking forward to the day when people truly understand the role and power of PR as well as see the importance of PR to the company and the nation at large.

November 2018