The Lead Analyst at BrandImpact Consulting, Austin Ayaosi said there is hardly an organisation in Nigeria that has a budget for PR measurement and evaluation, thus making pitching for a measurement and evaluation job much more difficult than pitching for a regular PR brief.
According to him, what has negatively influenced PR measurement and evaluation is the myth that PR can’t be measured, noting that he has always had a contrary belief. “I have always believed that PR can be measured. In some cases, the impact of PR can be linked to an organisation’s bottom line. It requires a deeper focus and dedication; a thorough understanding of the entire PR measurement and evaluation cycle; and a lot of work”, he said.
“For instance, we signed on a client in 2020; seven months into the engagement, the PR Manager won the company’s Annual Outstanding Performance Award, in acknowledgment of PR’s contributions to the business. It was the first time a PR manager won the award”.
Speaking further on the most common mistakes organisations make when attempting to measure their results, Mr Ayaosi pointed out that PR and marketing have become increasingly integrated. According to the PR measurement expert, one most common mistakes organisations make is attempting to measure PR performance in silos. Where PR plays a supporting role, measuring such a role should be done in alignment with the overall goals which it supports.
“It is difficult to truly measure and evaluate the success and impact of a marketing campaign in which PR provided support without aligning PR objectives with marketing goals for the campaign. Similarly, measuring the impact of internal communications on employees should be done in collaboration with HR unit”.
“Another mistake is that more often than not, PR and Corporate Communications managers don’t take time to understand their organisations. It is important to understand an organisation; know the organisation’s priorities, then align your role and measurement/evaluation framework with the priorities”, he added.
He continued: “I believe that’s what the smartest practitioners in Nigeria have done to secure a seat at the table. I call them the smartest practitioners because the zenith of PR career is sitting with the suit-and-tie ladies and gentlemen of the Board. Only a few practitioners in Nigeria have attained such career height”.
“The good thing is that measurement and evaluation is the easiest route to showing the impact of PR on the organisation. My advice to PR professionals has always been: “Measure what matters to the Board; if you can’t do that, then make what you measure matter to the Board”. Either way, you just have to measure”.