The Evolution of Evaluation. What Gets Measured is What Counts

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1 The Evolution of Evaluation What Gets Measured is What Counts 1

2 Chris Foster Vice President Strategy & Organization Booz I Allen I Hamilton 2

3 Communicating with the C-suite Communications Measurement is Seen as an Add-On You have to move beyond the obvious metrics such as media impressions, Facebook "likes" and Twitter followers. Those can provide a clue to your reach. If you really want to show your effectiveness, you need to decide what needle you want to move sales, fundraising activity or advocacy reach, for example and then measure your media activity against that. - Laura Howe, VP, public relations at the American Red Cross The C-suite executives expect metrics and prefers those of outcome-oriented persuasion Although PR practitioners note that engagement is a best practice, most still rely on impressions as evidence of impact Measures must move beyond mere impressions (outputs) to understanding comprehension of message (outtakes), and ultimately, to understanding how the message impacted the target audience s attitudes and emotions (outcomes). 3

4 Similarities Across Markets (Global Survey Results) We need metrics that support business decisions Web metrics such as sentiments and perceptions are most effective measures of digital media impact Economy has had a negative effect on communications and measurement budgets We need much deeper understanding of communications measurement best practices Greatest need is for a common ROI definition We need standard metrics for ROI and communications effectiveness

5 October 2012 Research Results 5

6 Poor skill sets Cost What are the biggest challenges to measuring the value of public relations? Tracking challenges Difficult to show bottom line impact Intangible value Hard to link cause and effect Red tape Changing market dynamics PR measurement and media relations measurement are not synonymous Communication barriers Lack of standards Not black and white Measuring intangible value Lack of support Tough to correlate Defining/measuring ROI with impact Lack of time Changing visions Measuring outcomes over outputs 6

7 Seen as hassle Lack of consensus Lack knowledge No one size fits all What do you believe are the greatest barriers to the adoption of standardized research techniques for the measurement of public relations? Poor methodology Leadership buy-in Lack of resources Not persuasive enough Lack of standard benchmarks Lack of standards Institution-wide inertia Communication barriers Varied business models 7

8 Importance of PR Measures On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is unimportant and 10 is important, how important is it the following are well understood across the public relations profession in the next five years? Incidence of Very and Somewhat Important Rating Setting measureable objectives 91% How to attribute the impact from a PR program on business goals / objectives 88% What should be measured beyond media clips The benefits of measuring a PR campaign Ensuring standard approaches to measurement throughout an organization 82% 84% 84% Measuring the value of building relationships with influencers How to measure the ROI of my PR campaign / spend Base: All respondents n=57 How to measure social media How to measure the impact of an event 79% 77% 77% 75% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% 8

9 Importance of PR Measures On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is unimportant and 10 is important, how important is it the following are well understood across the public relations profession in the next five years? Incidence of Very and Somewhat Important Rating Measuring the effects of sponsorships How PR activities can be incorporated into a company's Marketing Mix Modeling How often to measure an on-going campaign or program How soon after a campaign to measure Isolating the effect of PR from other campaign activities How to measure the value of corporate reputation programs 75% 74% 72% 70% 70% 70% How to measure the value of employee engagement 60% Percent of PR campaign that should be spent on measurement Base: All respondents n=57 53% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 9

10 Attribute Assessment How much do you agree or disagree with the following statements, where 5 is strongly agree and 1 is strongly disagree? Incidence of Strongly and Somewhat Agree Rating Common definitions for the ROI of public relations are needed The language of PR measurement needs to change to connect better with the C-suite and Board table Global PR organizations should make educating organizations about the proper measurement of PR a top priority 74% 72% 67% The Barcelona Principles were a good start, but now we must get much more specific 55% Common terms and definitions for the measurement of PR do not exist at all A common set of standards are not applied in the PR measurement profession A common set of standards for PR measurement is unnecessary The Barcelona Principles are the common set of standards the industry had been lacking Base: All respondents n=57 23% 19% 16% 11% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 10

11 Challenges / Barriers to Measurement What are the challenges/barriers to measurement that you encounter? Below are statements about barriers to measuring communications that you may or may not agree with or hear most commonly from clients. Using the scale where 0 means you completely disagree with that statement and a 10 means you completely agree with that statement, please rate each of the following. Incidence of Very and Somewhat Agree Rating I don't have the internal staff to conduct research on communication effectiveness 68% There isn't an effective tool to measure the impact of communications Senior management doesn't value communications measurement and research It's more important to spend budget on communications programs than measurement and research 39% 46% 42% It's not possible to measure the impact of social media on my audiences It's not possible to measure the return on investment for public relations activities Communications measurement does not improve my job performance Base: All respondents n=57 12% 12% 9% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% 11

12 Digital Media Impact Metrics Below is a list of metrics that may be used to measure the impact of digital media. Based on your experience or by what you read and hear, which one do you consider most effective? Survey research to measure audience awareness, sentiments and perceptions 44% Website metrics (volume, unique hits, time spent on site, page views) 21% Volume of online mentions (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) 9% Key word search metrics Measure of online sentiment through social media monitoring tool 4% 2% Other 16% There are no metrics or methods to effectively measure the effect of digital media 5% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Base: All respondents n=57 12

13 Importance of Competencies Public Relations Professionals On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is unimportant and 10 is important, how important are each of the following competencies for a public relations professional? Incidence of Very and Somewhat Important Rating Has knowledge of different outcome measures Understands the benefits of different media measurement techniques Able to advise clients how measurement drives business performance Measuring quality and does not rely on simple quantitative measure such as clips and impressions 92% 92% 89% 89% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Base: Public Relations Professionals n=47 13

14 Importance of Competencies Public Relations Professionals On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is unimportant and 10 is important, how important are each of the following competencies for a public relations professional? Incidence of Very and Somewhat Important Rating Has clear understanding of research and metric terminology Understands how analytics is part of integrated communications efforts across channels Recognizes how to measure traditional and social media consistently Understands how to write goals and objectives Selects appropriate metrics for outputs, outcomes and business results Knowledge of quantitative and qualitative research techniques Emphasizes transparency in all facets of research Create effective research proposal requests, vendor and tool selection, develop research budgets 70% 87% 87% 87% 87% 85% 85% 81% 0% 25% 50% 75% 100% Base: Public Relations Professionals n=47 14

15 Effect of Economy on Communications Budget During the past three years, what impact, if any, has the economy had on your organization s overall communications budget? Very nega ve effect 0.25 Somewhat nega ve effect 0.35 Very posi ve effect 0.02 Somewhat posi ve effect 0.05 Net: Positive effect 7% Negative effect 60% Base: All respondents n=57 Neither nega ve nor posi ve effect

16 Key Findings Practitioners see many challenges to measuring the value of PR and implementing measurement into standard practice. Limitations on staff, time, budgets and a general lack of understanding of measurement principles contribute to this challenge. In the past three years, the economy has had a negative effect on communications and measurement budgets, limiting resources while simultaneously increasing the importance to show the value in our work for clients. Within five years, over 90% of surveyed public relations professionals indicated a need for the development of communication measurement standards and practices. A desire for more effective measurement creates a need for measuring ROI and capturing true business impact. 16

17 Solution As an industry, we need to: Change the way we communicate and present our value Incorporate measurement in our missions and objectives Use research-driven data to demonstrate the value that strategic communications delivers in a way that can be universally understood and embraced by budgets across the globe 17

18 Call to Action As an industry, we have a shared responsibility to: Reframe how we talk about measurement and communications and the value of communications and PR Seize opportunities to gain more understanding in measurement and identify how to implement into practice Utilize communication as a tool in problem solving Meet the demand for data-driven campaigns 18

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