How to Calculate Public Relations Value

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Deriving accurate valuations on tangible and intangible public relations can depend on using the right valuation methods and metrics. Just as you use more than one system to measure things like efficiency and productivity, you also need multiple methods to calculate the value of print, broadcast and online campaigns.

Deriving accurate valuations on tangible and intangible public relations can depend on using the right valuation methods and metrics. Just as you use more than one system to measure things like efficiency and productivity, you also need multiple methods to calculate the value of print, broadcast and online campaigns.

Campaign Objectives

PR communications, sponsorships and customer-relations campaigns typically focus on building brand awareness, strengthening relationships and generating sales. Define and link relevant, measurable objectives to clear, measurable goals, which are necessary to link desired outcomes to business objectives and to quantify results that are otherwise difficult to measure. For instance, a measurable behavioral goal for a customer relations campaign might be to increase weekly foot traffic by at least 15 percent.

Timing and Benchmarks

Establish pre-activity benchmarks as a basis for measuring post-activity results. You might try conducting an opinion poll or survey, rounding up daily and weekly foot-traffic counts or recording the number of customers currently signed up to receive your email newsletter. Such measures can help to establish a base for evaluating the success of a new business start-up PR campaign designed to increase brand awareness. Once the campaign is over, use the same methods and follow the same steps to assess its value by comparing results.

Valuation Metrics

An approach using multiple metrics is often the most effective way to value a PR campaign's returns. Message testing, content analysis and media impressions, all of which are useful for measuring awareness and engagement, are among the most common. For example, draft three versions of an online press release designed to enhance your public image. Publish one version using a press release service, the second on your website and the third on social media. Monitor readership and article share statistics and review any comments for tone, awareness, level of understanding and customer engagement. The results should show which was most effective.

Calculated Result

By their very nature, PR campaigns designed to influence customer perceptions or public opinion can be difficult to value accurately. Evaluative metrics typically consisting of tracking and return-on-investment (ROI) calculations are useful for quantifying perception-based results. Use a rating system and percentage calculations to track changes in customer perceptions and attitudes. After reviewing post-activity sales figures and benchmark results, determine the monetary value of the campaign using the ROI formula: gain from investment (in this case, increase in sales) minus campaign costs, divided by campaign costs.

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About the Author

Based in Green Bay, Wisc., Jackie Lohrey has been writing professionally since 2009. In addition to writing web content and training manuals for small business clients and nonprofit organizations, including ERA Realtors and the Bay Area Humane Society, Lohrey also works as a finance data analyst for a global business outsourcing company.

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