Analytics for Digital PR

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  • Today, in both the public and private sectors, accountability and, therefore, measurability are keyprinciples of management. Increasingly, measurement and evaluation need to be more thananecdotal and informal. Objective rigorous methods are required that deliver credible proof ofresults and Return on Investment (ROI) to management, shareholders and other key stakeholders.The environment in which public relations and corporate communication operate today isincreasingly frequented by management practices and techniques such as: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Key Results Areas (KRAs); Benchmarking; Balanced Score Card; and Other systems of tracking key ‘metrics’ to evaluate activities.
  • Remember, the point of the following research, and the experience you gain in planning and carrying it out, is to help you to answer these four questions:
  • All public relations activities begin with formative research, an effort to understand the current situation. A public relations activity is like a journey. The better prepared a person is for a journey, the more pleasant it will be. For practitioners, the better prepared they are for a public relations activity, the more productive it will be for the organization or client. A public relations effort is driven by the needs of the situation. Practitioners try to overcome problems, or things that threaten the organization, or develop opportunities, or things that could benefit the organization. Often called other names, such as situational analysis or background research, formative research helps the public relations practitioner understand the problems or opportunity at hand. Formative research is the raw material for developing strategy. Two critical pieces of information for strategy development are stakeholders and the exact nature of the problem or opportunity. Practitioners should know ...Evaluative research was originally thought to be conducted after a communication campaign or activity.However, measurement and evaluation should begin early and occur throughout communication projects and programs as a continuous process.
  • Clippings & tapes may be the output and not the measurable outcome.
  • In Part 2, I will give you some guidelines about how to overcome this
  • If you really want to excel in your careers, start thinking about metrics and what value add will you be offering to your end clients. What is the incremental change you will show? How are you going to show your progress in numbers?
  • The first is a fundamental issue of definition and understanding of the function of publicrelations and communication.communication is an outcome –not an output or series of outputs. Communication is achieved when an audience receives,understands, retains and acts on information in some way. News releases, newsletters,brochures and other information materials put out are a means to an end. My simple definitionof communication is “what arrives and causes an effect, not what you send out”.Under the pressure of daily deadlines, many if not most PR and corporate communicationpractitioners focus predominantly on outputs – churning out media releases, newsletters,arranging events, posting information to Web sites, and so on – and many practitioners measuretheir achievements in terms of these outputs. Reports of PR and corporate communicationdepartments and PR consultancies typically provide a long list of what they sent out, arranged,who they called, etc. The classic research question is: so what?
  • Catherine Lückhoff is a successful entrepeneur in South Africa, and has co founded a PR agency of her own.
  • Such objectives are open to wide interpretation – ie. they are not specific. What is a successfullaunch? How much increase in awareness should you gain? You may generate a lot ofpublicity for a launch and increase awareness by 10 per cent, but management may be disappointed. They may have judged the launch in terms of advance orders received andexpected a 25 per cent increase in awareness.Furthermore, these objectives are not specific to PR and corporate communication. They are over-arching top-level objectives that are likely to be shared by advertising, direct marketing, and possibly even HR and other departments. Even if they are achieved, you will not be able tospecifically identify the contribution of PR and corporate communication. There is a saying: “Success has many fathers and mothers; failure is an orphan”. If substantial top-line results are achieved, it is highly likely that the advertising agency will claim credit. So will direct marketers. And the sales team? That’s human nature. And they may be right. You will be left facing the question “Well, what did PR contribute?”A further failing of these objectives is the lack any baseline or benchmark. What level of awareness currently exists? What is known about employee morale currently? What is the image of the organisation currently? Unless you have a baseline measure – a benchmark – you have nothing to measure against and your contribution will be unmeasurable. This is not SMART planning.
  • A third key barrier to measuring PR and corporate communication arises out of theoccupational and professional composition of the industry. The vast majority of PR andcorporate communication practitioners are trained in arts and humanities, coming frombackgrounds in and/or completing courses in journalism, media studies, social sciences, design,film, and so on. There are some accountants, engineers, sales-marketing executives and theoccasional scientist in PR, but these are comparatively rare – understandably so. Specifically,most PR practitioners are trained in and orientated primarily towards words, visual images andsound – what, in classic Greek terms, are rhetoric. The solution is not that PR practitioners have to become accountants or engineers or learnstatistics. But an ability to use measurement methods which can generate numeric data andpresent results in numbers, charts, graphs and tables is important and a readily acquirable skillthat can help PR an corporate communication talk the language of management.PR and corporate communication practitioners need to learn to talk the language ofmanagement – numbers, percentages, charts and graphs – and express the outcomes of theirwork in those terms.
  • The fourth debilitating barrier to effective measurement of PR and corporate communication isthe traditional notion of measurement as primarily or exclusively done at the end of activities.For several decades the PIE model was used in management – plan, implement, evaluate. Itsounds logical enough at first. You cannot measure results until after something has been done,right? That is true in itself. But you cannot measure results unless you have measured whatexisted before as well. Also, for practical reasons, you may need to measure at several pointsalong the way.There are at least five major disadvantages of conducting measurement only at the end ofprojects or programs:   a. First, if there is no benchmark measurement done before commencement, it isimpossible to identify progress made. Measurement of any process requires pre-activitymeasurement, followed by post-activity measurement, with gap analysis to identify change.For instance, how can you show you have increased employee understanding of companypolicies if you have not measured what they were before you implemented yourcommunication?b. Second, there are fundamental strategic planning reasons for doing measurementbefore you begin. Management guru, Peter Drucker warns: “It is more important to do theright thing than to do things right”. He was not saying that it is not important to do things right. Of course it is. But, if you are doing the wrong thing, no amount of effort and finesse in execution will achieve the desired result. Too many PR and corporate communication practitioners guess or rely on ‘gut feel’ in planning, as shown in Figure 11. If you are thinking of producing a newsletter, for instance, how do you know that a newsletter will be effective in achieving your objectives? How do you know whether to produce a print version, an electronic version, or both? Measurement includes measuring existing attitudes, awareness, needs and preferences of target audiences and stakeholders. While referred to as formative or strategic planning research, pre-activity research is measurement because you are measuring prior conditions and audience interests and needs. This is vital information to guide you in your efforts. c. At a very practical level, if you leave measurement until after activities have beencompleted, in the real world it is highly probable that you will be out of budget and out oftime. In conducting workshops on measurement, I always ask participants who has budgetor time left at the end of any major activity. Everyone usually laughs. If you don’t startmeasuring early, it likely that you will proceed to completion without any research at all. d. Fourth, and very importantly, even if you do get to measure, leaving measurement untilthe end runs the risk of career-limiting bad news. What is the strategic value of findingout after you have published your newsletter for a year that it has not been read or wellreceived by readers? Who wants to go to their boss’s office and admit: “You know thatnewsletter we did. Well it didn’t work.” You have just thrown away a year’s productionbudget. Conversely, measurement early in the project – even before you start – will identifywhether a newsletter is what the audience would like, and tracking along the way willindicate whether it is working. Finding out early that something is not working allows youto adjust strategy and avoid bad news at the end. The traditional approach of doingmeasurement post-activity has been largely responsible for the fear of being measured thatplagues much of the PR and corporate communication sector. e. Fifth, it is likely that management will not wait until activities are finished beforewanting a report including evidence of effectiveness. This is particularly relevant inactivities that are long-term. Your project, or even substantial parts of your plan and budget,could be cancelled unless you can show evidence that it is effective – particularly in thisage of tight fiscal policy and frequent budget cut-backs.
  • 1. The PII Model developed by Cutlip, Center and Broom (1985);Specific research questions arise at each step in the PII Model, illustrated in Figure 17. Answeringthese questions with research contributes to increased understanding and adds information forassessing effectiveness. Noble and Watson (1999) explain: “The bottom rung (step) of preparationevaluation assesses the information and strategic planning; implementation evaluation considerstactics and effort; while impact evaluation gives feedback on the outcome” (p. 9).A noteworthy and pioneering element of the PII Model was the separation of outputs from impactor outcomes and identification that these different stages need to be researched with differentmethods. Also, identification of the steps of communication – and, therefore, what should bemeasured at each stage or level – is useful in guiding practitioners.However, the PII Model does not prescribe methodologies, but “assumes that programs andcampaigns will be measured by social science methodologies that will be properly funded byclients/employers” (Noble & Watson, 1999, p. 9). Perhaps this is easier said than done.
  • Analytics for Digital PR

    1. 1. ANALYTICS in DIGITAL PR PART 1 Abhishek Rout Business Development4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 1
    2. 2. CONTENTS 1. Importance of Analytics 2. Industry view of Analytics in PR 3. Barriers to Measurement 4. Approaches to Research & Analytics4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 2
    3. 3. Why is ANALYTICS important?4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 3
    4. 4. …because we must measure4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 4
    5. 5. DISCUSS Imagine you step into a party. What do you do? You don’t go about talking to everyone! But you… 1. Listen to People & develop thoughts on what you will say 2. Analyze what they are saying. 3. And then act & engage This is very similar to what you do in PR4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 5
    6. 6. LISTEN & DEVELOP MEASURE MONITOR ACT & ENGAGE4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 6
    7. 7. The 4 “What Matters?” Questions You Need to Answer • What is most important to your company or organization? • What is most important to your audience(s)? • What drives your audience(s) or customers to act? • What is the best way to measure it?4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 7
    8. 8. What do we measure? • What do target audiences know already? • What awareness exists? • What are their perceptions? • What media do they rely on or prefer for information? • What is the perception post communication/campaign?4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 8
    9. 9. 2 Types of Research FORMATIVE EVALUATIVE RESEARCH RESEARCH understand the measuring the current situation effectiveness • What do target audiences know • What was the reach? already? • How many impressions did the • What awareness exists? campaign get? • What are their perceptions? • What was the change in perception?4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 9
    10. 10. without research & analytics.. it‘s like working in the dark4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 10
    11. 11. What are industry experts saying about Analytics & Research?4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 11
    12. 12. A study by Lloyd Kirban in 1983 among Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) members in the Chicago chapter found that more than half the practitioners expressed a “fear of being measured” In his book on PR research, Public Relations – What Research Tell Us, John Pavlik (1987) commented that “measuring the effectiveness of PR has proved almost as elusive as finding the Holy Grail” (p. 65).4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 12
    13. 13. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) also defines PR as “researching, conducting and evaluating, on a continuing basis, programmes of action and communication to achieve the informed public understanding necessary to the success of an organisation’s aims”4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 13
    14. 14. Tools used to Measure Tools/methods most use to measure PR. (Media Relations Reality Check Internet survey of Public Relations Society of America members, 2001)4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 14
    15. 15. DISCUSS Satisfaction rate of marketing directors with evaluation of advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing and public relations (Test Research survey of UK Marketing Directors, 2000.)4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 15
    16. 16. DISCUSS Main reasons US PR practitioners do not undertake measurement. (Media Relations Reality Check Internet survey of Public Relations Society of America members, 2001.)4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 16
    17. 17. Main reasons US PR practitioners do not undertake measurement. (Survey of 3,000 ‘PRNews’ readers sponsored and published by PRTrak, October 2003.)4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 17
    18. 18. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FRvMDAaERQ4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 18
    19. 19. Why do senior management not take PR as seriously as other company disciplines?. The survival of companies depends on generating profit. Therefore, all activities conducted by companies have to be measured and made accountable against their set objectives. Senior management always has this numerical mind-set at heart, If you cannot measure your activities, that means you cannot manage them. Like it or not, this management psyche has indeed created stumbling blocks for the PR profession to progress in most business set-ups.4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 19
    20. 20. If you really want to excel in your careers, start thinking about metrics and what value add will you be offering to your end clients. • What is the incremental change you will show? • How are you going to show your progress in numbers? • How are you adding to top line? • How are adding to the bottom line?4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 20
    21. 21. Rather than saying…. We should say…. 1. We will write n articles 1. Our articles will impact another 10% of stakeholders 2. Message was shared x times 2. 250 influential authors, mentioned our brand, which reached out to 10,000 people 3. 1000 fans added due to 3. Positive Sentiment of the engagement stakeholders increased by 20% due to the message4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 21
    22. 22. So… Measurement in PR is: 1. Important 2. Difficult4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 22
    23. 23. Barriers to Measurement4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 23
    24. 24. 1. Output vs. Outcome • churning out media releases • Communication received by • newsletters Audience • arranging events • Understands the message • posting information to Web • Retains it sites, etc. • And Acts on it WORK DONE VALUE ADDED4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 24
    25. 25. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoA6Kr7s1n44/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 25
    26. 26. 2. SMART Objectives Specific - Measurable - Achievable - Relevant - Timely On the other hand PR Objectives are mostly broad, vague and imprecise objectives which are not measurable. • To increase awareness of a policy or program; • To successfully launch a product or service; • To improve employee morale; • To improve the image of a company or organisation; • To build brand awareness or reputation.4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 26
    27. 27. 3. Numeric vs. Rhetoric Majority of PR and corporate communication practitioners are trained in arts and humanities, coming from backgrounds in and/or completing courses in journalism, media studies, social sciences, design, film, and so on. PR and corporate communication practitioners need to learn to talk the language of management – numbers, percentages, charts and graphs – and express the outcomes of their work in those terms.4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 27
    28. 28. 4. Post program measurement 1. No Benchmark done4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 28
    29. 29. 4. Post program measurement 2. Planning before Starting4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 29
    30. 30. 4. Post program measurement 3. Out of Budget & Out of Time4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 30
    31. 31. 4. Post program measurement 4. Bad news for your career4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 31
    32. 32. 4. Post program measurement 5. Client will not wait4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 32
    33. 33. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pDLyhVnGG84/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 33
    34. 34. Approaches to Research4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 34
    35. 35. 1. The PII Model 2. The Macro Model of PR Evaluation, renamed the Pyramid Model of PR Research 3. The PR Effectiveness Yardstick 4. The Unified Model of Evaluation4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 35
    36. 36. PII Model4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 36
    37. 37. Pyramid Model4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 37
    38. 38. PR Effectiveness Yardstick4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 38
    39. 39. Unified Model of Evaluation4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 39
    40. 40. Next Session - Actual Analytics Based on this Theory - Different Graphs you can use - Tools for Analytics4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 40
    41. 41. Thank You! Germinait Solutions Private Limited 501/502 Eco House, Vishveshwar Colony, Off Aarey Road, Goregaon (E), Mumbai 400 063 India Tel: +91-22-4006-4550 +91-22-4006-4551 +91-22-4006-4552 Fax: +91-22-4006-4553 Email: contact@germinait.com4/10/2013 GERMINAIT SOLUTIONS PRIVATE LIMITED. PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL 41

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