Alternatives to AVE’s - Lisbon sets the pace after Barcelona
In June the great and the good of the PR industry resumed their deliberations about the replacement of AVE’s as acceptable performance measures. The meeting in the Portuguese capital was designed to add the detail of the precise measures that PR firms could adopt.
The delegates agreed on a basic Valid Metrics model. This maps out communications activities and their effect on various criteria, with the responding results that are delivered.
The outcomes that are generated by the activity are clearly identified, and can be adapted according to the needs of different campaigns, e.g. product marketing, reputation building and social/community engagement.
Different Metrics can be applied, and the conference considered outcomes in terms of:-
· Sales value and lead generation,
· PR contribution to sales revenue,
· Cost savings due to PR,
· Increased market share,
· Increased/Decreased market capitalisation,
Alternatively PRO’s can use other marketing measures e.g.
· Earned impressions
· Earned CPT impressions,
· Gross/Target Rating Points
Linking to Google Search results was the measure that required the least interaction with client data (most of which would be market sensitive and not easily obtainable). Having the ability to overlay search results with organised events was a very popular measurement, and could be used to monitor crisis communications as well as planned interventions.
Proof of value for money will remain high on any client’s agenda when they are considering the value of PR. While the debate about ‘which methods are relevant’ is starting to rage, the problem for Agencies is that by introducing more transparency they are not necessarily improving their margins.
Ideally, the ability to interrogate campaigns with sophisticated analytics and indices should work in favour of the agency as much as it does for the client:- the client does not need easy reasons to question performance.
However, if a PR agency is equipped to monitor and report on these kinds of results then that goes some way to improve their ranking among prospective clients. With the market for winning new business as tough as ever it can’t harm your profile to be able to present yourself as a credible player and distinguish between your offering and the many competitor providers who may be pitching alongside you.
Using a job costing and accounting tool such as Paprika can make an important difference to the culture of the PR agency. Any mechanism that illustrates the agency’s commitment to meeting the client’s expectations will be highly regarded, and need not lead to an expectation of being driven downward on price: Confident use of measures and reporting tools will allow the account handler to be robust in defence of their communications strategy.
We are interested to work with prospective PR clients who recognise they may need to integrate reporting matrices with their back office functions.
Please share your views at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.