One revolution that happened in the public relations ‘sector’ is the reality that there are now Independent PR measurement and evaluation consultancies who can prove Public Relations ROO (Return on Objective) for good.
Over the years, measuring the true value of Public Relations has been the biggest challenge for the marketing communicator. Yes, indeed. Before the arrival of Independent PR measurement services, it used to be so nightmarish to calculate PR value with a 360 degrees approach.
Put literally, PR measurement and evaluation is investigating to see whether you met your set objectives and overall goal just as you promised in your strategic communications plan.
Today, there is wider recognition that public relations programmes can be measured and that there is strength in doing so. What this means is simple. It means that every communication professional whether in the kindergarten or expert level should be an advocate for measurement without necessarily seeking to control or lead the process. The Chief Insight Officer of leading and fastest growing Independent PR measurement and evaluation agency, Philip Odiakose was able to pluck a leaf from the law profession to put it simpler: “It is not right for you to be the accused, the judge and jury of your work.”
But wait a sec! Whose responsibility is it to measure whether a particular PR campaign sold or not? To get more insights on whose responsibility it is to audit ALL communications performance, kindly read, Who should measure PR?
Since measurement and evaluation programmes are part of a typical strategic communications plan, let’s just state the pain point right away – there is no Association of media monitoring and measurement for practitioners in Nigeria like it is in other climes. This is not just teary, it is also very unethical as the regular PR and advertising agencies have continued to accept media monitoring/traction briefs – the job of independent media monitoring and measurement experts.
In fact, if you offer a public relations measurement service in Nigeria or nurse the ambition to run a communications analytics business or even demand that PR demonstrates its value from time to time, then you should be bothered that the PR analytics industry does not have an Association of its own.
We all know the tremendous pressure about how people now demand that PR demonstrates its value. If this is a surefire, why is the industry still depending on sister associations like PRCAN and APCON to prove its own value?
P+ Measurement Services, a leading PR measurement and evaluation consultancy took a shot at this in 2016. The measurement expert shouted itself hoarse, asking stakeholders to enable the process. This is 5 years down the line and no association yet for the noble industry. Should we conclude that all the efforts were in futility? No.
Setting up a Nigerian media monitoring and measurement body will not only help to make the industry invincible but also help practitioners to champion their own cause and truly operate independently as they ought to.
By Queen Nwabueze