There was a time—not too long ago—that PR initiatives were measured largely by newspaper clippings.
PR agencies would concoct ratios of readers per clip, claiming that two-and-half or so people read the story. In reality, it was all just a guess. It was an expensive and highly misleading approach to whether a communications plan worked or failed.
Times have changed, and in today’s digital era, we have many accurate and effective ways to measure whether our communications work is making progress or needs a course correction.
By examining and balancing many data points, we can clearly see how things are going. But a measurement matrix, as I call it, starts in the initial planning stages.
What to do
Any communications or PR program must have identified objectives. Those goals are intended to favorably impact a company in order to justify the expenditure of funds and resources. So, draw up a grid.
The X axis on the left is a list of specifics that can be affected by the program. The Y axis along the bottom is a timeline for periodic measurement. Each X item is to be plotted at a particular time, such as every week, month or quarter on the Y axis, at the bottom.