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PR Is In a Death Spiral—and Bad Metrics Are to Blame

Katie PaineBy Katie Delahaye Paine, CEO, Paine Publishing

I just finished judging a dozen entries for a prestigious industry award program. Entrants were required to state a “business outcome” that the campaign was supposed to deliver. Most of them did write down a business objective. Sadly, only one reported results based on the business outcome. The rest (aka the losers) reported on inflated reach scores, impressions, and likes.

Ever wonder why the boardroom ignores you, or your agency loses a pitch to a management consultancy firm, or the important functions get moved over to marketing? You might want to start by looking long and hard at your metrics.

For years, PR people have focused on activities, not outcomes. The problem with this is that you become what you measure. If what you report on is column inches or impressions or placements, you’ll spend most of your time trying to get more of them. In justifying one’s existence by using activity metrics like these, PR has come to be defined by what it produces, rather than the business value it delivers. So, when it becomes cheaper to produce those outputs in marketing, guess who gets that program (and the budget that goes with it)…

Read the rest of this post on our parent company Agility PR Solutions‘ blog site

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