It's essential that clients understand that the impact good PR has isn't always directly quantifiable.
For starters, every article written about you and every positive mention is earned credibility. Simply having your name in the news brings your name to the attention of viewers and readers, each of whom adds another impression to your brand and status as thought leader. Remember what PR stands for…public relations. Part of the process is establishing relationships with the media and a reputation of reliability. You want journalists to feel comfortable calling you for your take on their story.
While hard to quantify, most of SunStar Strategic's clients would agree that public relations programs (when combined with other sales and marketing initiatives) have had a big impact on their sales and retention.
Public relations helps with sales in a number of ways including increased brand visibility, brand awareness, and establishing or increasing your credibility, thought leadership and third party endorsements. Think of PR as a form of advertising or marketing, but instead of you thumping your own chest, it's often someone else doing it for you. PR can also help you get some much needed recognition for your great product or service in a cost effective manner on a national level. You may have the greatest widget in the country, but who wants it if nobody knows about it? PR helps you get the word out.
Ultimately, you can measure the return on investment of a PR effort similarly to any other investment. The increase in branding, awareness and thought leadership should translate to increased sales by providing you more leads, opening more doors for your sales people, and expediting the sales process.
While it is difficult to assess the success of the PR campaign dollar for dollar, ask yourself—has your name been in the media? Have reporters come seeking your opinion? If you answer yes to these questions, it's safe to say your PR program is on the right track.
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