One of the most oft-asked questions of PR firms is “How do we measure success?” There’s lots of ways to do it and several are included in answers from Phil Gomes of Edelman in an interview with MediaBistro.
One of the other questions that should be asked, this time by the agency, is “Are you willing to pay for ongoing accurate measurement?” Done well, measurement takes time. A baseline needs to be established. Criteria needs to be identified. PR agencies are paid for their time. We differ from ad agencies in this way. Ad agencies have areas (think media buys)where they can make huge margins to subsidize time spent on measurement.
We love measuring the success of our programs. We love it even more when we get paid for it.