For as long as we can remember we have been drowning in the self-inflicted sorrow of how to measure Public Relations. And the joke is on us that in all this time we have been intelligently referring to media output as Public Relations. Even worse, we have interchangeably used Communications to replace Public Relations. Well, the times are changing and accuracy in what we do, why we do and how we do is of utmost importance.
If you work in-house and your boss is someone other than a CEO or Chairperson of the organisation you are in the wrong job and there is nothing wrong about that as long as you are getting paid and enjoying what you are doing.
But if you report to a CMO or head of HR and they have no clue about what you do, or you are not able to show them the power of what you do, then God save all of you. This column is about a situation where PR professionals are stuck in a corner and unable to fathom measurement beyond poor old media coverage. Even that cannot be measured unless you had a goal set in advance and the metrics to measure cleared by the one who signs the cheques for your budget.
Public Relations has to be undertaken keeping in mind the end, right at the beginning. Without that there is no meaning in what is being done. Public Relations is about four Cs – Content, Connect, Crisis and Counsel. However, most often PR professionals do some part of Content and Connect and the rest is handled by the legal team, the HR head and several others.
Earning more is the cornerstone of Public Relations and this is all about earning more –
These are words are self-explanatory. How then do we measure these key elements that every person, every brand and every organisation yearns for?
First and foremost, none of these can be bought. They depend largely on the product or service on offer and the people who sell the product or service. Their actions and behaviour is paramount to creating goodwill, building reputation, offering engagement, generating affinity and earning trust. How does all of this get formed and how do we measure it? Have you thought about it. We need to move beyond media coverage and think on the lines of Earning GREAT! Because that is Public Relations. Media output is just a by-product of GREAT.
Amith is the Dean of the School of Communications & Reputation (SCoRe)- A post graduate institute of Public Relations built by the Indian PR community. He is also the founder of the PRomise Foundation which organises PRAXIS, India’s annual summit of reputation management professionals. He can be reached at @amithpr on twitter.