Is PR measurement suffering from KPI overload?

Is PR measurement suffering from KPI overload?

PRNews recently published an article that has got us talking here at SE10, ‘Google Says PR Measurement Is About Quality Over Quantity’. When we talk about ‘quality’, we’re really looking for measurements beyond hard numbers and that have real world value beyond KPIs.

Of course, hard numbers and KPIs are valuable – they help us measure messaging and other data such as Share of Voice and Ad Value Equivalency. But they are not the only or best measurements and there’s a limit to the value that comes from this data. A lot of what we do in PR simply cannot be measured in hard numbers. As an example, if a customer is influenced enough by a story to make a purchase, that can’t easily be quantified and reported in an Excel sheet, leaving out an important element of the impact of brand building.

The article in PRNews reinforces the notion that this kind of ‘data’ is often missed, especially as more and more KPIs are added into the mix. Janneke van Geuns, head of insights and analytics at Google, explains how keeping it simple can bring in more meaningful results. She outlines misconceptions in monitoring, useful metrics, and an important note on a study they’ve done with Econsultancy, which concludes that data-driven KPIs are not everything when it comes to measuring success. 

At SE10, we use tools like Meltwater, Listrak, and Cision to measure KPIs for our clients. These tools allow us to access data in real time to assess hard numbers. But, we also provide our clients anecdotal measurements to paint a fuller picture and give context to those numbers. The goal for this page in our reports is to provide more value beyond the numbers and bolster KPIs with real world successes.

Many of the benefits of PR are achieved behind the scenes and under the radar (to mix metaphors!). Not all of our work is going to end up as a number or clear-cut KPI, but the impact of our work is more easily appreciated when quality measurements with real world impact are included.

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