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Sometimes I wish I had the magic answer. Like when someone asks me, “How do you measure public relations?” A quick Google search, and you’ll see this is something all of us public relations and marketing professionals struggle with. We want so badly for it to be black and white. To spit out a statistic that signifies “mission accomplished.”

But the truth is, there’s no hard and fast rule. There are numerous factors to answering this equation, and it really comes down to how deep you’re willing to dig as an organization.

On the Surface
Without spending a lot of time and money, there are some easy ways to measure success of your marketing efforts:

  • Your public relations firm pitches a story featuring your company, and it gets picked up by the local media. Success.
  • Your social media marketing company carefully crafts a status update for your Facebook account, and you get 10 likes. That’s great!
  • You spend time with a graphic designer to create a new sales piece, and people comment on how professional it looks. Awesome.

These are all indicators that your public relations or marketing campaign is headed in the right direction. But do they really mean you’ve effectively measured them?

The Meat of the Issue
What if we took each of those tactics and tied them to a strategy? Are the tactics you’re implementing reaching the right people?

  • The story your public relations firm pitched was picked up by the top business publication in the region. If that’s your target audience, this means the right people will likely see it.
  • Your social media marketing company posts a message to your Facebook account that not only gets liked, but also gets shared. You went beyond getting a reaction from your audience. You reached new people as a result of your fan’s excitement.
  • Your graphic designer creates a sales piece that doesn’t get tossed in the trash by your prospect. Something about the design or the content spoke to them enough to signify this was worth keeping.

This is the level where many companies, and even public relations and marketing professionals stop. If you get a lead based off of a Tulsa World article, you can feel good about that, right? It must be working. However, you’re still missing the good stuff.

At the Core
To really know if your marketing strategy is effective, you have to understand your goals as an organization. What are you really trying to accomplish when you peel back the layers? And ideally, you’re answering this question before you even start adding public relations or marketing into the mix. ​I have worked with very few companies or organizations who became successful by accident. There’s always been a formula and a clear goal in mind. They didn’t fly by the seats of their pants, and because they knew what they wanted, Resolute was able to put together a plan to help them get there.

So I ask you, what are you really trying to accomplish? Are you trying to hit a revenue goal this year? Are you trying to motivate a change in behavior? Are you trying to start a conversation? Because answering those questions is much deeper than getting likes on a Facebook page.

Author Nicole Morgan

As the CEO of Resolute, Nicole leads the firm with more than 16 years of PR and marketing experience. She also brings a broad knowledge of industries including social services, healthcare, transportation, retail, technology, and finance.

More posts by Nicole Morgan

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