I’ve been debating with a few of my colleagues (not PR professionals) about measuring the effectiveness of a PR agency. My colleagues think media placements are the best way to measure results. I disagree.
PR Agencies are so much more than pitching vehicles for mass and trade media. It is their job to develop and implement a plan that builds a positive relationship with the public. The goal of this relationship is normally to foster goodwill in the office and in the community, to attract clients and to fuel an overall positive perception.
There are many tools a PR Firm can use to do this. Of course, media placements are on the list, but it’s not the only thing. There’s speaking engagements, employee communications, white papers, social media initiatives, sponsorships and the list goes on.
If you are only using your agency for media hits, you are leaving one of your best resources untapped. It’s like going to an accountant once a year for your taxes, but not using him/her for financial and business advice. It just doesn’t make sense.
This is how I think their effectiveness should be measured. What were our sore spots a year ago? Have their initiatives addressed these? Has our image been improved in the marketplace and with our employees? If so, how much so?
These answers tell us if our agency is the right fit. After all, does it really matter how many times we were quoted in the press if our image is the same and we have the same sore spots?
Towanda Long aka Mscafe
(I’m twittering now and mscafe was available, therefore my new alias…)