At last, validation!
I am not crazy!
PR's impact on Sales can
Of course, I've said as much for months
. But hey, I am biased
- both as a PR guy, and, as the principal at a firm that has already developed a credible, replicable methodology
for tying PR to sales.
I daresay that Procter & Gamble Co. is not nearly as biased.
I was THRILLED to read the November 7, 2005 cover story in Advertising Age
, in which P&G's Charlotte Otto, global external relations officer, discusses the company's newly-unveiled PREvaluate system, which "combines marketing-mix models with detailed data on media impressions..." (Not sure what that means, but it sounds cool!)
Hallelujah, Corporate America is getting the measurement religion. P&G has a long-standing reputation for being a savvy and metrics-driven, forward-thinking marketer. They are a bellwether. This is the beginning of the next stage of measurement, methinks.
My favorite quote by Otto: "This has been the age-old problem in the PR business: 'Fine, like your clips, but show me the bottom line' ... Now we can do it ... People's jaws dropped when we showed them this data ... We are at such low levels of the marketing mix [for PR], generally less than 1%, that there is definitely upside business potential."
I have to say that as excited as I am by this news item (and by its cover-story placement), there were some troubling bits.
Most notably, wherever the Ad
Age journalist took a stab at describing PREvaluate, it sounded a whole lot like Media Content Analysis; how these results were tied back to P&G's sales was unclear.
Also, if many marketers hear about this - which they should - they'll no doubt expect it to be offered by agencies for free. And PR budgets being what they are (remember that 1% figure, above!?), that could represent a huge bite out of PR funding, if agencies handle the question poorly.
But, enough of that. By now you are no doubt wondering how PR did in P&G's test? "For four (of the six brands tested), PR had a higher return on investment than any other medium or marketing tool, and for the other two, it came in second."
We should not fear Measurement, my friends. We should embrace it. The accurate measurement of PR's impact on Sales will be the salvation of the PR industry.