Siddhartha Mukherjee: PR Measurement & Monitoring are two different worlds: Which one have you chosen?

07 Apr,2016

By Siddhartha Mukherjee


While many in the PR industry are still yet to adopt the discipline of numbers, research and analysis in their day to day course of things, as for the ones who do, there is a clear demarcation among them. On one side, are those who believe in generating and torturing quantitative and qualitative numbers for their planning, benchmarking, evaluation and audit purposes. On the other, are those who do not enjoy numbers beyond some top line, self gratifying data and charts which actually mean nothing to PR and Corp Comm’s internal customers within the organisation.


The former represents the progressive class of our industry who believe in PR measurement, audit and serious research. The latter are those who are either aloof or do not want to acknowledge the importance of one very basic key question – Why do we do PR for a brand? This company of professionals normally and only use the nomenclature of PR Monitoring.


The industry will evolve, grow and get acknowledged by our customers only and only if we adopt PR Measurement, Audit and Research and not confusing it with PR Monitoring. It will help if the PR industry body, captains representing the PR Agency community and influential corporate communications heads get together and drill this realisation into the various corridors. PR Measurement is strategic, PR Monitoring is tactical.


Unfortunately, today, a majority of our Industry is majorly fixated with PR Monitoring but not the measurement bit. The reason is that clients and their PR firms are still not clear as to what the actual objective behind doing PR can or should be. Sadly, for most in the industry, the following is still felt as the reason or objective for doing PR:

a) My competition is doing it, so should I!

b) Feels good to see our name on paper – makes us look good in front of family members/friends

c) To keep negative stories at bay

d) To justify its existence through Ad Equivalent Value


…there could be more such reasons.

Precisely why, our Industry has largely demanded PR Monitoring and not strategic services like Measurement, Audit and Research.


Some traits that indicate that the Brand Custodian comes from the world of PR Monitoring:

1. Instead of working with neutral PR auditor, depends on his/her PR Agency to evaluate the quality and quality of work done by them


2. Daily/Instant News Clips Updates (especially negative news) is one of the key expectations from the PR Monitoring service


3. Advertising Value Equivalent (AVEs) form a key unit of measurement to evaluate success or failure of the PR machinery


4. Share of Voice & Rankings are the full and final litmus tests for PR success


5. Corporate Communications machinery does not set targets for itself or give one to its PR Agency


6. Proactive PR happens largely during “product launch” month


7. Corporate Communications desk is not directly or indirectly aligned with the Organization’s central research desk


8. CxO expectation from Corporate Communications/PR is only media relations and to get editorial coverage on the company, important faces of management and control negative stories


9. Fixation for increasing count of articles by getting coverage in any media title irrespective of the relevance of the title


10. By looking at the quality and media plan of coverage, we find that there is no sync with the basic but serious question of “Why are we doing PR”.


Siddhartha Mukherjee is a senior PR industry professional and currently Senior Vice President, Eikona – Earned Media Planning, Audit and Advisory. The views expressed here are his own.



Post a Comment 

Comments are closed.