Gauteng Business News

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PUBLIC RELATIONS: Make Sure Your Return on Investment Expectations Are Met


Recent Gauteng Business News

How do you know you are getting a good return on your investment of time and money in your public relations activities? Measuring PR is more qualitative than quantitative, but can you get a good sense of your success, through their return on investment (ROI)?

ROI is a performance measure used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment or to compare the efficiency of a number of difference investment. There are several ways to determine ROI, but the most simplistic method is a measurement of cost invested in a public relations campaign.

In the past public relations practitioners turned to more creative methods to show tangible ROI for their effort, which proved to be almost as challenging as the efforts themselves. Gathering the clips for the month, detailing the efforts in carefully drafted documents. Unfortunately it is not possible to produce hard numbers to analyse PR efforts and tie them back to the bottom line.

Publicity and media coverage take time. When clients are launching a product or service and want to build awareness, clients should be engaging with agencies at least six months ahead.

Some agencies promise a certain amount of exposure within a specific time frame and at times unable to deliver. Therefore clients together with the agencies need to set expectations before commencing with the campaign.

Clients should make sure that the PR campaign is able to reach expectations as well as their target market. Clients do not only want to see the articles which are published in the media or the interviews organised by the agency, they want to see how this campaign will effect the bottom line, or bring people through their doors.

PR has evolved immensely in the past few years with the introduction of digital media, pr agencies are starting to track new social media such as Facebook and Twitter media with tools that have been recently introduced. It is also possible now to alter the course of an integrated PR campaign as the social media results are very readily available.

As PR continues to grow and change, methods of giving the accurate evaluation will also improve. Tools used to analysis coverage deliver the real time results that matter for clients and their companies so that they can evaluate success with in the campaign.

PR provides a vital avenue for company success and when correctly done, delivers an ROI greater that many other functions. The effect of a successful PR campaign on the company can be in both awareness and sales. In business today, it is important that PR agencies can express that effectiveness in rand value.

We recommend that clients ensure that their PR campaigns are able to measure ROI accurately. PR can also be measured by the quality of the news and not just the quantity of the coverage received. It is also as important that analytic tools are able to measure more than just how many clipping have been received.

ROI is more that calculating the centimetres and columns and comparing the advertising rates. A PR campaign should add value to clients bottom line.

At the end of the day it is all about results that your PR campaigns can deliver, by not just showing the clipping but also linking it to the rand value.

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