TAM-PRCAI to formulate PR measurement toolkit

By , agencyfaqs! | In Media Planning & Buying | April 18, 2007
The TAM-PRCAI PR measurement toolkit will help create awareness and increase acceptability of PR amongst marketers

In a joint

initiative, TAM Media Research and Public Relations Consultants Associations of India (PRCAI) have devised a toolkit for the measurement of the effectiveness of public relations (PR). The toolkit will help create awareness and increase acceptability of PR amongst marketers.

Siddhartha Mukherjee, director, communications, TAM Media Research, says that the purpose of such measurement is to indicate the success of the PR program, produce usable data for CEOs, marketing teams, communications units and PR agencies. PR measurement will also facilitate strategic planning for companies.

He said that before getting down to actual measurement, one needs to consider various factors. These include identifying the objective, core and fringe target, core and fringe market, the 'should be' cost, the period of the PR campaign, the media mix and the competition scenario.

The PR measurement toolkit will function at three stages. These include the quantitative 'exposure' stage and the qualitative 'engagement' and 'conversion' stages.

Mukherjee emphasised the fact that currently, in India, PR activity revolves only around the exposure stage and there is a need to go beyond and expand the measurement to the engagement and conversion stages. He gave the example of TV advertising in India to explain his point. He said that of the 4,500 brands that hit TV channels in the country, 2,000 brands account for advertising only on the present 43 news channels.

To measure the impact of PR at the exposure stage in such a cluttered environment, the factors that should be taken into consideration are: volume of coverage against competition, volume and tonality of coverage across media and regions, reach of campaign and the advertising to PR ratio. These factors contribute to the 'exposure impact index', which helps in accurate measurement. At this stage, the PR agency can be evaluated by comparing invitations made versus attended, and attended versus reported.

Once the brand has been exposed, the next phase is to determine whether the exposure has been engaging. The engagement stage entails measuring factors such as ratio of articles published versus actually read, recall of articles, recall of message, recall of ad coverage, recall of medium and the image shift of the brand. The engagement stage also keeps track of awareness of the brand and its image, share price movements and customer complaints after the brand launch.

The third stage is the conversion stage. This includes measuring new customers, reduction in customer complaints and evaluating the sales chart during ad/PR hiatus. At the corporate level, the conversion stage involves keeping track of improvement in stock prices, retention of employees and grant of bank credits despite financial non-viability.

Mukherjee concluded by saying that while engagement is the key for both corporates and marketers, conversion forms the bottom line.

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