Tag Archives: strategy

The Many Measures of Success in Business


This is a question I often ask myself when evaluating the results of a public relations campaign for a client, colleague or a friend or family member who is interested. There is no one right way to measure success. In fact, there could very well be multiple ways to measure the success of a single campaign.

First, you have to identify the original goals set during the planning phase of your campaign. Was the goal to secure X number of placements? Was it to secure feature coverage in a specific geographical area? Or did you set out to achieve a specific business milestone?

Success cannot be measured without first identifying your benchmarks. Let’s take a look at some different models of analyzing a campaign:

Quality of coverage

From my experience, many people think more coverage is better coverage but that is rarely the case. It doesn’t matter how many placements you secure if you’re not reaching your target audience. True success is a story in a publication that reaches the intended audience. When pitching a client’s story, you want to first identify journalists and publications that appeal to that audience.


Example: If you are trying to showcase how a new customer relationship management (CRM) software improves customer service and position the company as a market leader, then targeting trade publications specializing in that industry might be a good approach. If this is the case, securing one feature story in a leading trade publication will be more valuable than mass coverage from irrelevant outlets. More times than not, quality trumps quantity.

Support of business objectives

Whether your business is selling a product or cultivating potential donors, a PR campaign should always align with the business plan. A common mistake is the belief that a campaign’s success depends solely on earned media. It’s important to remember, public relations is an extension of a business’s operations.

Example: The Salvation Army account team at Franco supports the Red Kettle fundraising campaign to increase awareness of the nonprofit’s services, cultivate relationships with potential donors and ultimately secure donations. In this scenario, it is important to secure extensive coverage across many interest areas from community news to business outlets. But, it’s imperative to remember that it doesn’t end with placements. When measuring a campaign, it is important to analyze the outcome by how it helped achieve company goals. In the case of The Salvation Army, did the campaign result in increased donors in the pipeline? Did it result in increased donations? These are the numbers that matter most.

In the end, businesses are seeking a return on investment (ROI). How has public relations supported the business plan? Do the results outweigh the cost of public relations efforts? These are questions that should always be at the forefront when planning and implementing a strategy. And, in order to achieve a positive ROI, you must understand the desired results and tailor a strategy to best achieve them.

So, how do you measure success?

Dan Stocking is an account executive at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5094 or stocking@franco.com.  Follow him on Twitter @danielstocking.

Working with rather than for is key to success

Client relationships are only successful if there is cooperation and agreement on where you are headed. Photo credit – Flickr: donnacollinsevents.

OK everyone, pair up. It’s time for the three-legged potato sack race. Ready…Set…Go!

I think we all know the key to running a successful potato sack race is to work together with your partner. Should one person decide not to participate, you are done, and stuck dragging dead weight as you fight to finish. It just won’t work unless there is cooperation and agreement on where you are headed.

Fast forward from your elementary school field day to now. Picture yourself, now a grown up, working for a living.

I’m going to go out on a ledge here and I assume most of you have experienced a situation that involved dragging dead weight or, at minimum, working with someone who is only interested in his or her way to achieve a goal. If you haven’t, well, consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

Perhaps you have been in a situation involving a client you are promoting. You know there is a good story there, but the client is strictly tasking with one-way direction. Regardless of your efforts, no healthy dialogue is taking place. Will you effectively achieve your client’s goals? Most likely you will not. Consider your options and turn that working “for” situation into a working “with” relationship.

Unfortunately, sometimes it isn’t possible to work “with” a client and that’s when you may want to weigh your options and decide the best course of action. That could range from implementing the tasks as requested to resigning the account.

A resource for effectively handling these negative situations is Alan Cohen’s book, Those Difficult Talks for PR Pros™: How Best to Say What Needs to be said to Clients, Colleagues and Employees.

I attended a session that Cohen moderated at the PRSA 2012 Michigan Conference (CommLab 2012) that highlighted questions we face as PR pros and exercises that can help us prepare for such difficult talks. Cohen recommended looking at the big picture of any scenario and taking into account our own personal values in life.

What did I take away from the discussion? It’s not necessary to work in a negative atmosphere. Consider the situation, discuss it with your team, examine your personal beliefs and your company’s culture, and then make a decision.

Once you do, hop back in that potato sack with a partner and finish that three-legged race together.

Jim Miller is an account manager at Franco Public Relations Group. You can reach him at (313) 567-5029 or miller@franco.com. Follow Jim on Twitter at @JimMiller76.