Does public relations have a perception problem when it comes to proving true revenue value to the business?
Many of the recent conversations I’ve had with clients and colleagues in the PR and communications space have revolved around performance.
PR teams are being called on to report similar metrics as their marketing counterparts and show how they’re driving growth and impact on the bottom line. This is especially the case in joint initiatives like major product launches.
The challenge for PR professionals is two-fold.
First, in most organizations, marketing has the lion’s share of the budget and the coolest toys (read: their marketing tech stack). They’ve been goaled on revenue-related KPIs for much longer than PR, and they’re better equipped to report it. Telling the story of your conversion rate and revenue generation from pay-per-click search engine marketing is a lot easier than showing the direct revenue impact of organic media pickup in the Wall Street Journal.
Secondly, marketing is quite often in the driver’s seat from a planning and execution perspective. Their strategy focuses on their channels; PR is viewed as necessary, but an after-thought. “Oh, we should probably pitch our influences and do a press release! Let’s get the PR team on the horn.”
This mindset leaves PR teams scrambling to fit their outreach and strategy into a mostly developed marketing campaign. It certainly doesn’t allow them to maximize their impact.
So what are actionable steps to help close these gaps?
1. Focus your efforts on revenue
Design every aspect of your PR efforts to leverage the same reporting practices and technologies your marketing colleagues are using. Demonstrating impact requires a concerted effort – especially on your digital campaigns.
For example, while press release distribution reporting can give you a baseline of how people are interacting with your content online, leveraging smart links in your call to action (Download a Free Trial! Preorder now! View our White Paper!) will provide more advanced data on the type of traffic and engagement you’re driving.
If the link is integrated with your marketing automation software or web CMS, you can even track audience interactions throughout your digital ecosystem.
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