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Demystifying PR ROI

Demystifying PR ROI

MarTech forever changed the way that marketers work, what they report as success and how they do their jobs. PR professionals and communicators, however, have not, as a whole, significantly changed how they measure their success. CMOs and CEOs are starting to ask: Why can’t PR be measured and attributed the way that marketing efforts […]


PR, the psychologist meet Advertising, the dentist

I’m a big, big fan of personification. Huge. So much so that sometimes I mistake my mother for an actual hen or my friend Tom, as alluded to here, as the discipline of public relations. This habitual form of self-entertainment and creative process is rivaled only by my fanship of satire, as can be seen, oh say, here.

My belief is that the personification bit happens often for one of two reasons:

A. I’m cray. #highlylikely

B. It’s the easiest way for my brain to understand extremely abstract concepts. #alsohighlylikely

After having spent an entire day reviewing and thinking about PR Measurement followed by getting mouth-maimed by an exceedingly chatty dentist, I had a light bulb moment: PR can be thought of as an engagement with a psychologist, and Advertising can be thought of as a visit to the dentist.

The former is a two-way conversational process that can often take months and years to finally take effect. The outcomes in behavioral change vary from “marginally functioning adult still caught up in narcissistic tendencies” to “highly functioning adult able to get through the day without feeling like a loser.”

The latter is a one-way ticket to conversational hell whose goal is clear (as painful as the getting there may be): clean teeth and healthy gums. The sale is direct, and you know what you’re getting. They may serve it up to you differently, but the tools are all relatively the same, the process is the same, and the outcome is “measurable.”

Why is this an interesting personification topic of discussion?

Well, for starters, the past several years have been spent attempting to dislodge the use of AVE’s (Advertising Value Equivalency) as a valid PR measurement tool. In fact, the recently released Nasdaq/Ragan survey of 1,467 PR pros reported that (with regard to “problems with measurement”): “32% believe PR pros measure the wrong things,” while 22% liked the answer, “Are we still talking about AVEs?!”

Another respondent was decidedly candid: “AVE is total BS, like comparing baseball to the Kentucky Derby.”

Or a psychologist to a dentist. Continue reading…


PR TIP: Don’t be a loser at SXSW 2013

Ahhh, SXSW. That time of year when every startup under the sun flees to the quaint, country-loving town of Austin, Texas only to have their big launch plans hijacked by the likes of Amex and Pepsi. And this year, possibly Uber and Airbnb too.

But have no fear, despite its recent saturation and seemingly oversubscribed experience, SXSW offers many unique opportunities for those willing to plan ahead, take things with a gigantic grain of salt (with a side of BBQ), and ultimately enjoy the company of others who have figured out how to maximize their ROI: Return on Interactive.

SXSW meeting calendar
An insider’s look at a perfectly organized schedule for AirPR execs at SXSW soon to be ruined by reality.

From one recently reformed SXSW-avoidant professional to another, here are the dos and don’ts for ensuring that [during your reflective flight home] you don’t feel like you’ve completely wasted your time, money, energy, or worse…lost your sanity.

#1 DO

Do make sure you attend at least 2 panels or keynote events a day. This will give you plenty of content to talk about later when you’re trying to awkwardly network with a bunch of drunk people at an after party. It will also give you plenty of stuff to Tweet about and post to your Facebook wall so that you appear to be #intheknow.

#2 DON’T

Don’t try to stack meetings with potentially important individuals between 8am and 11am because you likely won’t make it. Be kind to yourself and accept this reality. We know you are trying to impress the boss, but simply don’t do it. You will fail, which is worse than not scheduling a meeting in the first place. BONUS: Sunday, March 10, 2013 is conveniently Daylight Savings, so you better push those meetings back to noon.

#3 DO

Do RSVP to every party that looks halfway decent so you have plenty of party-hopping choices and can also pull the “Where’s Waldo” stunt for people you are trying to avoid. This tip is really geared more towards investors and other folks with money who end up being inundated with requests from startup founders. Journalists also fall into this category. Continue reading…