There’s a running joke that most public relations professionals strongly dislike numbers or anything to do with math. Hence our alleged difficulties measuring marketing results.
What do you call a number that can’t keep still?
… A roamin’ numeral.
Many of us are averse to arithmetic (we majored in communications, after all!), but numbers are necessary in our day-to-day routine and we need to nurture our love-hate relationship them. To prove my point, I’ve provided a few examples that show how our jobs can require us to be statisticians.As PR pros, we must nurture our love-hate relationship with numbers to measure marketing results.Click To Tweet
Three Ways PR Pros Measure Marketing Results
1. To Strengthen Pitches
“Prove it!” If I had a nickel for every time I heard this from a reporter after sending a pitch, I’d be a very rich woman. Don’t be afraid to use statistics to support ideas and opinions. If you’re trying to stress the importance of recyclable materials, grab a stat from the EPA about the amount of garbage thrown away each year to further drive home your point. Here’s one of my tips: I subscribe to Pew Research Center, which regularly issues email newsletters with its latest research. The newsletters are often tied to current topics in the news, so you won’t have to search high and low for a timely pitch.
2. To Prove Value
Unless you work in finance, which shows literal return on investment (ROI), proving the value of your work can be challenging. Change your approach to reporting. (Luckily, there are a number of services and tools, particularly in PR and marketing, that now automate the process.) Rather than simply listing the activities you conducted over a given period of time, give your client numbers and what they mean within the context of your program goals, marketing goals and overall business goals. Ultimately, leaders want to see impact and if you can tell a story with numbers – of reach, engagement, website traffic, contribution to sales, etc. – then you’ll not only make their job easier, you’ll prove your work is worth their investment.
3. To Show Potential
Not only do these measures (impressions, total views, social media engagement) track results, they showcase the potential for further exposure. A smart PR professional stays abreast of new media platforms, social media networks, events and more, and in order to convince the higher-ups that these new avenues are worthy of their resources (time, money and effort), you’ll need to make your case clearly. Use numbers to your advantage, e.g. “this platform will reach an additional XX number of C-level decision makers.”
So, case in point. Numbers aren’t frightening. (Just leave the equations to the actual mathematicians.) Use statistics and data to your advantage. Find out how to measure your 2018 communications plan.