Too often PR measurement is little more than an end of term report, assessing whether the agency or in-house team did broadly what it said it would.
It should also be used to help shape how campaigns can be more successful in the future.
That was one of the conclusions from the Measurement Practice’s recent podcast that I took part in.
Part of the problem is that PR and communications evaluation is rarely funded adequately. But lack of budget is not an excuse for lack of curiosity to learn what recent experience can do to improve the business effectiveness of what happens next.
Some argue, wrongly in my view, that PR people are so bad at evaluation and measurement because they are creative sorts who are wired differently to people in other marketing and creative industries, and don’t understand the data.
After all, public relations, almost without realising it (and there may be a clue there), were pioneers of data journalism, courtesy of the humble PR survey.
More seriously, PR and comms people are increasingly using other sorts of market research to plan more effective campaigns and isolate more telling insights.
But the Achilles heel remains: if comms people cannot evaluate better, they will struggle to be heard in serious company.
The podcast was hosted by Mike Daniels, principal of The Measurement Practice, and other participants were David Rockland, Chairman of Ketchum Global Research and Analysis, and Angela Jeffrey, VP Brand Management at research company Advertising Benchmark Index (ABX).