Although hardly the "contrarian" of his book's title, Mark Weiner correctly identifies two problems common to public relations practitioners: They fail to set objectives, and then they fail to measure what they have accomplished. Weiner explains an uncomplicated way to correct these tendencies. He tells PR managers and their clients why taking a scientific approach can improve the professionalism of PR campaigns and gain respect for them in the marketing world. He uses examples from his own experience to buttress his arguments about the benefits of PR. Occasionally, the book is repetitive, but it is eminently practical. getAbstract recommends it to corporate communicators, PR consultants and their clients.
Measuring Return on Investment
Public relations campaigns have long been criticized as being difficult to measure. Managers assessed the success of their campaigns in terms of the number of press clippings they generated and little else. But that is changing. Today, as budget-conscious managers seek to gauge the return on investment (ROI) of their PR campaigns, they are beginning to use scientific measurements. They are comparing the campaigns' expenses to profits or increases in sales.
In 1999, AT&T measured its advertising campaign's quantitative results in relation to the results of its media relations efforts and discovered that its PR generated as many new long distance customers as its advertising, even though the PR budget was significantly smaller. The company also noted that when the media mentioned it favorably, its sales increased and its advertising became more productive. In short, positive PR boosted other marketing activities.
Numerous subsequent studies have confirmed that using PR together with advertising and promotions delivers sales results that are more cost-effective than advertising or promotions by themselves. These discoveries have...