I know you gotta measure stuff in business. That includes PR.
We really suck at it though. We have no agreed upon standards, battle over crap like AVE’s, measure weird stuff that has little to do with actual business goals and have trouble really showing that A causes B (I am a trained social scientist so this last bit gets my goat pretty darn bad).
All that aside – and THAT is a bunch – there is another problem:
Our internal and external clients have screwed up ideas of what success is and how it should be measured.
My bet is that you still produce clip books that are judged by some idiot taking out a ruler and measuring the volume’s thickness. No? Then perhaps some genius assesses how much noise said tome of coverage makes when it is dropped on the table. If you’re so evolved that these ancient rites are behind you, I’d wager that you at least get asked to produce clip books semi-regularly.
Maybe your internal and external clients judge you based on where a story appears; I am not talking about the outlet but the physical position. Some clients don’t think page A10 or appearing as the fifth story on the newscast is where they should ever be.
“Only being out front is good enough,” they say.
This behaviour is analogous to a man saying he’ll only date women who look like Jennifer Lopez. Dare to dream big, but please realize that in life not every best case scenario unfolds.
Sometimes internal or external clients only care about whether THEY get on TV, in print etc. This creates problems when you are dealing with multiple stakeholders whose presence in the media might actually do more for the client’s business goals.
I know, WE the PR people are supposed to EDUCATE our internal and external clients on the REAL measures of our labour. That, though, is not easy or quick. It’s especially difficult when we ourselves don’t even agree on what the standards are.
What do you think?