PR Measurement and Budgeting

February 26, 2006 at 5:35 pm 2 comments

Here is an interesting article from measurement guru KD Paine on how to make sure PR measurement stays in the budget. I liked her main point: 

“Measurement… a necessary tool for making better decisions and advancing the organization’s best interest.”

Like any program/project budget, measurement should account for 10% of the budget – which we all know happens rarely. But today it is possible to do simple and effective PR measurement – think about success stories, blog/media monitoring, testimonies, brief surveys – that are affordable and manageable by all PR professionals.

If you can show the results of your work by effective measurement, it will certainly help you keep your measurement budget – and more so – your overall budget.


Entry filed under: PR evaluation.

LIFT06, WIKI and Evaluation Intelligent Measurement – what and how?

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mark Weiner  |  March 6, 2006 at 3:09 am

    In my opinion, one of the biggest myths in research and evaluation–whether it’s in PR, advertising or any other area of marketing or communication– is the myth that there ought to be a predetermined percentage of overall budget allocated to research.

    If you were the PR manager for a dying brand, would you allocate the same amount of research as you would if you were overseeing the launch of a new product that could redefine the category? All things being equal, the answer is “no.” Sometimes 10% is the right amount, but sometimes it’s too much and sometimes it’s too little For the blockbuster product launch, you might need to spend 20% of your budget on preliminary research and weekly evaluation for the first six months before cutting back to 10% and then 5% in the second year. If you are managing a dying brand with no support from management, 2% may be too much (which isn’t to suggest that you wouldn’t want to conduct research at all, you’d just spend less on it as you worked to improve the performance of the brand at which time you might command a bigger budget, some part of which you might allocate to expanding your research budget).

    I run Delahaye, a research and evaluation company, so it could be said that I have a vested interest in generating as much revenue as I can…flat 10% research budgets would provide my firm with explosive growth, but not for long. You see, I also have a vested interest in providing good counsel so that clients will remain clients for a long time and after clients realized that the “flat rate 10%” logic just doesn’t hold up, they wouldn’t be clients for long.

    Just as people who spend time on this blog would treat with suspicion anyone saying that research is a total waste of money, so you should regard someone who advocates a flat rate of research and evaluation investment…regardless of whether it’s 1% or 20%. The right level of expenditure depends on your business goals and objectives, as well as the objectives of your PR strategy and tactics.

  • 2. intelligentmeasurement  |  March 7, 2006 at 7:55 pm

    Mark, thanks for your commment, I take your point. You are perfectly right in saying that a flat rate is not always appropriate – I can’t agree with you more on your example of a dying brand not being worth a substantial evaluation effort.

    The “10%” rule I like to quote as I find most people running projects, communication or otherwise, don’t even think about putting 1% of their budget or time into evaluation. I hope by doing so I get them thinking about how much time – more so than budget – they should dedicate to evaluation.

    In the real world, as you point out, we need to adapt the level of expenditure on research and evaluation to the business goals and objectives. That’s certainly good business- and evaluation sense!



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