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Effective Public Relations

Can someone tell me how the effectiveness of public relations is best measured?

Can you also provide some examples of effective evaluation techniques?

Thank you. - by bmrugger
Hi bmrugger,

Could you define what you mean by public relations? Do you mean press releases? Cultivating contacts with the media? Something else??

Thanks,
Terri Z - by Terri Zwierzynski
I guess any aspect of Public Relations. How do you measure any PR efforts to determine if they are effective and should be continued?

Thanks, Terry.

Bob - by bmrugger
In general, any type of marketing effort is measured by keeping track of where your customers come from. How you do that depends on your business...if you get business by people calling you, keep a log by the phone and always ask each new caller where they heard about you. Same if you have a small storefront; have the salesperson keep it by the front door. If you have a web business, you can often set up an online survey where you ask people where they heard about you, or, you can use tracking links.

Does that help? - by Terri Zwierzynski
Isn't Public Relations about the public's "perception" of a company/individual? How would you measure that? - by BossMan
Can someone tell me how the effectiveness of public relations is best measured?

Can you also provide some examples of effective evaluation techniques?
The answer to the first question is that you measure it with a scale that goes from Very Favorable to Very Unfavorable.

The other question as to how you implement the use of that scale requires more attention. Monitoring the source of customers is vitally important as Terri describes. However, Terri alludes to "marketing" which brings to mind the "positioning" aspect of public relations which is much more passive on the part of the marketer. It is the market which positions a company, not the company positioning itself within a marketplace. When we speak of "public relations", it implies a proactive effort, unlike positioning. With those distinctions made, here are four avenues to explore both position and public relations:
  • Trade journals within the industry.
  • The press and media at large.
  • Existing client base feedback, with the possible inclusion of surveys.
  • Results in sales and current market share.
I'm sure that there are more avenues. The four areas I described would produce information that could be assigned to a rating on the scale I mentioned in answer to the first question. The scale could be in the form of a matrix where you would measure the feedback from each area of research individually.

I hope that at least partially answers the questions. I believe that there are others who can provide better insight.




- by Gary Boye
Isn't Public Relations about the public's "perception" of a company/individual? How would you measure that?
One word, "Feedback". ;) - by SalesGuy
Isn't Public Relations about the public's "perception" of a company/individual? How would you measure that?
What you are referring to is known as "awareness" studies, which PR firms love to do - they are very expensive and consume lots of billable hours. And of course - "perception" is often a moving target - so by the time you measure it, it probably has changed.

Large companies have to be concerned about the "public's" perception of them, but probably most readers of this forum are probably interested in only a subset of the general public - which are their customers (current and future) and the propensity of that public to continue buying from them.

In the end, for most businesses the real measure of perception is the successful sale. In that regard, PR is a subset of marketing. - by Consultant
There's a great degree of intangiblity in terms of measurement,
and plenty of people will debate that issue.

It's best measured by your own set standards on how
you consider it to be successful: added reputation?
more awareness? more recognition? sales inquiries?

Ever person has different opinions on whether or not the
PR efforts were effective or not. - by MaxReferrals
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