A recent piece in PR Daily succinctly outlined some terrific tips for gaining credibility for the comms craft from the C-suite – all via expanding your understanding of what the organisation would like to measure and achieve.
This included ‘making friends’ with information keepers in an organisation, and I couldn’t agree more. I’ve worked with a number of organisations over the years – large and small – all with various objectives and sets of data.
It’s imperative to get to know customer service staff, the finance team, web team and so on, so that the impact of any PR work can be measured across those different spaces.
Of course, this is also part of being a good PR operative – to develop good professional relationships with your colleagues, and understand their roles and how PR can assist them to achieve their goals. This adds to the ‘environmental scanner’ role of a PR practitioner.
“Challenge anyone who proposes a metric to consider what data they would like to see as evidence”, the author also says. Sometimes, this means PR practitioners need to play an educational role.
For example: I’ve had many instances of clients or employers requesting ‘media coverage’ without elaborating on the why. Often, the results they’re seeking from media coverage can come via other means – such as roadshow meetings, events or more targeted communication.
The request for media coverage should be scrutinised now more than ever, in an age where news outlets are rapidly closing, and target audiences and customers are often consuming less mainstream news content.
This points to a need for PR pros to maintain insights into digital media, relationships with digital mastheads, and of course ongoing knowledge of social media platforms.
It’s a juggle, which is why having a PR specialist on your team is such a great asset.