PR results you CAN take to the board

Have you ever said “I can’t take those PR results to the board”?

Board directors can be tough on PR campaigns. You don’t want to give them results they may deem weak. Realistic results planning is your mantra.  Here’s how and why.

PR teams rarely work on ground-breaking campaigns. Most work on the ‘me-too’ or the pre-launched.  They may be targeting badly-defined audiences with vague messages and any USP might as well stand for Utah State Prison.

If you’ve detected boardroom froideur over PR execution, ask yourself this: were your PR team working on something that was, well, standard, and were expectations ever defined?

At the Olympics in Rio the focus for every athlete was marginal gains.  They’ve focused for years to win that extra yard or second, to get that one percent performance gain that can win medals.

Back to marketing, and the average rate of return on direct mail campaigns is two to four percent, with most boards accepting a one percent increase as job well done.  

What if you got your board to apply a marginal gain of performance to your PR goals – say one or two percent, from where you are, and then try to double that?   Whether the main mission is to offer marketing and sales support or to enhance reputation and image (very different missions) you could then select goals from this list, apply our marginal gain theory and focus everything to win medals in the races that matter to you.  Then repeat for the next four years.  We’ve won gold for clients on every goal here!

  1. Improve your content and storytelling so that more of what makes you different reaches your audiences, making you more rounded and credible
  2. Integrate that content across every channel you own or need to earn – internal, journalists, digital, web, social, film
  3. Turn sketchy concepts into thought-leadership content and then get it used by newspapers and in TV or radio interviews, and in speaker platforms
  4. Train everyone to be a bit better at presenting
  5. Generate more traffic, attention and enquiries at exhibitions or events
  6. Create CSR causes that inspire staff and the market and do some real good
  7. Get some kind of traction in political circles for your causes
  8. Benchmark your media coverage results against your rivals to stay top of the leader-board
  9. Turn sceptical or unreceptive journalists into contacts you can brief with ease.
  10. Find the hidden story or angle to get some colour and “shine”, if what you do is “boring”
  11. Make lead generation more productive through more robust evidence
  12. Become a key lever in opening new markets by building evidence of track-record
  13. Generate feedback for new ideas to test market sentiment, via two-way channels
  14. Refresh old products and make new cases for struggling brands
  15. Help to promote boring, taboo or difficult topics with shareable content wrappers
  16. Make it easier for intermediaries to promote you
  17. Ensure your website builds are done effectively
  18. Apply the grit that it takes to get editorial into the Times to your blogs and digital content
  19. Create an online brand personality with the right tone of voice, content and design
  20. Have water-tight strategies for crises and manage arising crises