Evaluating PR Campaigns

Outputs, Out takes and Outcomes.
When evaluating PR campaigns many professionals will talk about outputs, Out takes and Outcomes. Outputs are the activities that have been undertaken in the PR campaign, whilst out takes are the result of these activities. An example would be your PR campaign resulting in an increased awareness of your company, this is an out take. Outcomes are the resulting change in behaviour of your target groups, e.g. an increase in purchases from customers.

A very simple yet effective method of measuring your success is the classic "press clippings book". A simple "flick" through the clippings book will give you a great indication of how well a PR campaign has performed.

This measures the number of people in the target audience that will have seen the campaign. Quite often the readership or circulation of all the publications that covered the campaign is added up, this is often the most simple way to estimate reach.

Many studies have shown that marketing messages need to be communicated with the recipients several times if they are to create an impact. A great way to measure effectiveness is to look at the frequency the total target audience saw the message, for example 15% of the total audience saw the message 3 times or more.

OTS or opportunity to see, is a very effective measurement, which focuses on how many of the target audience will see the message, combining elements of frequency and the reach, to represent the number of times on average the target audience will have seen your campaign.

Share of Voice
This approach benchmarks the campaign against those of your competitors, this can be measured in specific publications, allowing evaluation of the outputs in the most influential media channels.

Assigning Financial Value - AVE
This basically involves calculating an equivalent value to your PR campaign if you were to use advertising. PR has been shown to be more effective than advertising and therefore a multiple of the rate card is used, the PRCA recommend three times the rate card.

There are several disadvantages to using AVE though, these can be found on the full article at www.napier.co.uk/best-practice

For more great ways to measure your PR campaign, check out the full article at www.napier.co.uk/pdfs/evaluating-pr-campaigns.pdf

Mike Maynard
Managing Director
Napier Partnership Limited

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