Musings of a PR Professional

Chapter 9: Learning Loops

ROI. Return on investment. Every public relations professional’s nightmare.

Wait. Really? Heck no!

Just because a lot of the work that a PR professional does produces seemingly unmeasurable benefits (although still highly valuable to the organization) doesn’t mean that we need to live in fear of the “bottom line.” This chapter has a short, yet great section on how to translate social media PR efforts into value statements management can understand. Here are just a few excerpts from the table I found particularly useful and/or enlightening:

Social Media Approach Traditional Approach
Listening online Purchasing formal market research
Using free online services like Facebook or Twitter to announce and event Placing and ad in a newspaper
Asking supporters to share news and information with their friends on social networking sites Disseminating information to the public through newsletters and press releases
Acquiring email addresses from people who are them via Twitter, blogs, or social networking profiles Purchasing email addresses

So, PR professionals know it is necessary to demonstrate the value of their work in order to make sure that they can continue to do it and expand into areas . In this respect, social media has made the PR professional’s job easier and harder at the same time. It is easier, because of the incredible communication opportunities they afford. It is harder, though because it has become even harder to track the multitude of ROI indicators as they exist online (which often don’t necessarily have to do with dollars). The above table though, is a great resource for professionals who need to demonstrate the financial return of a particular PR effort.


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