At I Am Telemarketing, we always focus on ROI before we engage with any client.
Our friend and associate, Rob Baker, a Manchester PR professional talks about how public relations is changing, what he can offer and how it can be measured:-
ARE YOU THINKING OF HIRING A PR AGENCY?
Online PR, added to traditional PR, now offers greater value to clients looking for a ROI.
“Yes, but budgets are tight and there has to be a return on investment and when I talk to the other decision makers I cannot demonstrate the value. So it has to be a “no” for now.”
It is totally understandable that businesses want to see value, perhaps more than they have ever demanded before and the above words, or variations of, are not an unusual sound to the ears of a PR professional.
The thing is though that PR can deliver value.
And it can be measured to a far greater degree because it can be delivered in many more ways than before.
Not so long ago PR was (and sometimes still is) thought of as being simply media relations: coverage in the local or national newspapers, trade press and perhaps a radio or TV interview.
Traditional PR is still powerful and gaining coverage in the Daily Telegraph, the Manchester Evening News or The Manufacturer has an impact, both in terms of building reputation and profile.
It can usually be measured by using an Advertising Equivalent Value (AVE) – how much would you have to pay for advertising for the same space as the PR gained?
So if the PR practitioner secured a full page in the Guardian it would amount to £25,000 a page that a media relations buyer would pay to secure that space for advertising (although PR agencies would multiply that estimate, as editorial would be argued to have a greater value).
If a company wants to be seen in certain trade press or in a certain paper, then the value is there to see but let’s move one step further.
PR offering more value through online
Traditional PR is only part of any good PR professional’s experience, skill and offering.
Online PR, done well, is where PR shines and delivers. It is where it can compete with and complement, online search marketing and SEO.
PR is as much about building online profile as much as offline profile.
A strong press release can gain widespread coverage on websites and blogs (there are over 180 million and some are highly professional in insight and presentation).
So if a release is covered by 25 newspapers and magazines, then it is highly likely to come up for numerous searches on Google as the story is likely to appear online.
Moreover if the PR generates links from those publications, it will push the client’s website further up the Google rankings.
What about the value?
Let’s take the Manchester Evening News and say that a quarter page coverage had been achieved:-
Cost per a page AVE is about £10,000, so a quarter page is £2,500 and editorial is of higher value than just the space (times three) making it worth £7,500.
Factor in online coverage and ranking from being high up for a Google search term and give that a conservative value of £500.
Links cost between £50 and £1,000 for the most powerful sites (such as national newspapers) to point your way so £400 sounds reasonable.
The coverage total is £8,400 and if multiple outlets cover the press release, the value soon mounts up however you calculate it.
As for the brand value, I will leave that as a bonus in any calculation.
The value of PR
PR offers multiple ways to generate value which can be analysed and judged.
Often seen as the marketing discipline that was hard to assess, PR is as accountable as any discipline and at least as effective.
For more insight from Rob Baker and the benefits of online PR amongst other useful industry information, click here.