Now more than ever businesses want to be sure they get value for money. Asking your consultant to write a release, arrange a promotional gift, create an advert or event with no clear objectives could be just wasting your time and money.
What do you want to achieve? What are your business objectives? How will you achieve them? What kind of communications will you need? What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)? How do you know you got there? What and how are you going to measure your success?
For some it may be calls to a helpline or signing up for an offer, for others it may be sales, for many it will be awareness raising or changing behaviour. Whatever it is there are ways to measure your results, but first you should:
- Know where you are now
- Understand, and be clear and realistic about where you want to be
- Set clear communications objectives on how you are going to get there
- Know your costs – business costs and what you plan to spend on PR
- Understand what you will measure and how you will measure it
Understanding your costs and what you are trying to achieve means you can then work out your return on marketing investment. Yes even for PR.
A recent example courtesy of the Home Office used at a seminar:
Cutting the cost of crime
- Robbery, burglary and theft are known as acquisitive crime.
- Campaigns over the period reduced acquisitive crime levels, saving an estimated £189m
- The campaign spend was £13.5m in comparison
- Net Payback was £175.5m; and
- Return on Marketing Investment was £13 : £1
OK we don’t all have that kind of budget, so here’s a small and completely fictitious example:
- An advertorial in a regional glossy magazine professionally written, designed and published cost £500, and aims to increase sales leads
- It reached a circulation of 10,000
- Cost per impact (or opportunity to see) is 5p
- Through your tracking you know the advertorial created 100 leads.
- You also know from your management accounting that a lead normally costs you £10
- So now you know that with this advertorial you will have halved your cost of lead generation at just £5 per lead. £2 return on every £1 spent. And more if those leads are converted to sales