PR measurement lessons from Election Day

There’s a lesson PR pros can learn from campaigns. If your efforts don’t prompt a change in behavior, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

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I think every day should be Election Day. I’ve said that since 2001, when I worked on my first political campaign. (Truth be told, Election Day is my favorite holiday!)

My PR career started at an agency, which wasn’t your typical firm. We specialized in public affairs and did political campaigns for candidates and issues. I loved the rush that came from knowing that all our hard work led up to a specific day, and on that day, voters decide. In theory, if I did a good job, my candidate or issue would win. Conversely, I didn’t do my job well enough if we lost. (I know there are other influences that determine the outcome of elections, but go with me on this …)

That’s why it drives me crazy when PR people try to justify their work by counting impressions or putting together inflated ad equivalency reports. First, PR is more than just media relations, but that’s another discussion.

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