Three trends to enhance measurement and evaluation in PR

The process of measuring the impact of public relations can be open to interpretation – as there is no standard, industry-wide way to evaluate results.  In many cases, the number of media spin-offs and the reach achieved are evidence of it. While the change in perception and the increase in awareness remains difficult to quantify, multiple indicators now make it possible to assess the real impact of a PR campaign.  The following is an overview of three trends that are likely to intensify and grow in 2019.

Out with surface analysis

The rise of organizations utilizing video content on digital platforms is contributing to the issue of return on investment (ROI). Measuring ROI inevitably requires thorough analysis. The issue is that we can get the numbers to say a lot.

Focusing solely on the number of views is equivalent to counting only the media spin-offs obtained. Knowing how many people have viewed a capsule or read an article offers a primary level of interpretation, but it does not tell us anything about what made the audience react. However, according to the 2018 Video in Business Benchmark Report, 64% of companies are only interested in the amount of views and shares of their videos. Only one-third of organizations push the analysis further and look at the viewing time, the percentage of people leaving before the end of the capsule, or the origin of users. Not surprisingly, businesses that scrutinize this data are twice as likely to see an ROI with their videos.

Even podcasts are getting into it

Podcasts are experiencing a tremendous resurgence in popularity. The number of French-speaking Canadian adults who listened to a podcast has grown by 300% over the past five years. It should not be surprising to find more podcasts integrated into public relations programs and campaigns.

There is good news for fans of measurement, Apple’s newest listening app (Podcast) offers a level of analysis which is much more advanced than previous versions.  It is now possible to find out which segments people are listening to and which ones they are skipping. Advertisers can also track if their ads have been heard or if the “30-second jump” feature has been used. All these elements tell us about the true impact on consumers.

Integrated campaigns, increased measures

In 2017, nearly one in two PR professionals believed that marketing and public relations campaigns will be fully integrated within five years. This year, the proportion has increased to 90%, according to the Global Communications Report. This trend reveals the advent of even more powerful and comprehensive programs, but it also means more sharing of data to measure results. Analysis of web traffic, conversion rates, and engagement are now part of the PR valuation arsenal, and that’s for the best.

The more things change, the less they are the same

No doubt, times have changed. The era of the importance of “spin-off numbers” and “audience reached” as primary campaign performance indicators is definitely over.

Want to know more about transformations in the measurement of public relations? Visit www.casacom.ca/en/our-work/ 

Jean-Michel Nahas About the author
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