The Anatomy of PR Success

By Scott Signore

Often in this business, you find yourself so far down in the weeds that determining what’s working well isn’t obvious. The smarter agencies have measurable metrics – something championed here at Matter since our inception eleven years ago – that ensure programs stay on track and achieve the results sought after by our clients. That being said, here are a number of ways that you can tell if your PR program is a success:
First, your program moves the business needle – directly or indirectly. Your team develops spot-on messaging that resonates with all identified key audiences, and when they execute, the program generates the media results (a legitimate buzz!) that creates quantifiable business results. You may measure it in leads generated or deals closed, but in any case you know well that what your team is doing is directly contributing to achieving business objectives.

Second, your PR program is a success when it has a multi-channel approach to delivering key messages. If you are complementing tried-and-true strategies and tactics with new opportunities for earned placement, then you are aligned with the direction of your category. Now is the time for comprehensive and visually robust programs that tell a story visually by way of videos, infographics, icons, logos and so on. Your initiative is a success if your PR team looks broadly at the charge, and goes to market with engaging and creative content.

Third, your PR program is a success if efforts dedicated to social media channels result in thoughtful and highly interactive discussions that better position your entity. While volume in “opt-in” fans and followers remains so important, the dialogue on channels that advance the sought-after positioning of your product, company or brand marks broader communication success. Social channels present a wealth of opportunity for better positioning, and the contributions of other interested parties can be the most credible boost to the effort.

Fourth, your PR program is a success if the results generated directly address the needs of the internal stakeholders, and they have what they need to achieve their objectives. Each group within the client organization has a slightly different charge and in most cases, all of those groups or individuals are in some way supported by PR and social media. If your program is generating the types of results that help them do their jobs better – content that can be repackaged for marketing; media coverage that supports sales; insightful social media that contributes directly to product management – then the program is a success.

Finally, your PR program is a success if you have generated the results that earn you a seat at the senior management decision-making table. That’s where PR belongs. When done well, it’s a driver and a direct contributor to the business goals of any organization. Your PR program is a success if it is smart and strategic, and it is respected internally for supporting the wider organization’s objectives and helping the entity achieve business milestones.

What else should you look for when determining if your PR program is a success?