Trylon Communications  - November 2005

No Surprise – PR Works!

It often seems as if the PR portion of the marketing mix is the poor step-child, garnering the smallest of budgets and only receiving recognition for the largest successes and failures. Some recent technological breakthroughs are proving that PR not only is effective in getting the word out, but it actually offers strong return on investment (ROI).

For example, Procter and Gamble (P&G) has developed a system called PREvaluate that assesses PR performance in a quantitative way helping executives measure PR impact against other marketing programs in an apples to apples way. The system uses a marketing-mix model that utilizes highly complex analytics to evaluate the sales impact of all of the media approaches.

P&G recently used this measurement tool to analyze the PR programs for six of its brands. Four of the brands saw a higher ROI from PR than any other activity, and for the remaining two, PR came in second.

A recent PRWeek survey of CEOs  echoes the notion that PR is working and that it is under-utilized. While 49% of the CEOs stated that they were either “extremely” or “very” satisfied with the ROI from their company’s PR activities, an additional 45% were somewhat satisfied, leaving a meager 6% of CEOs to say that they were less than satisfied with ROI from PR.

In addition, one of the top objectives the CEOs cited as being impacted by PR is increased sales, a result usually attributed to advertising programs. Mapping PR to sales goals along with traditional PR objectives such as raising brand awareness and enhancing the corporate reputation, places PR squarely in the spotlight as an increasingly crucial marketing strategy.