Myth Busted - Silver Bullet Busted - Communication Dividend

PR Measurement Myth #1 debunked: There is a silver bullet when it comes to measurement.

November 7, 2021
After have more than 60 years’ experience as communication professionals, Paul and I have identified four of the most common myths we’ve seen while working with Communication/PR professionals within all types of organisations. Let’s take a more in-depth look at what we’ve dubbed PR Measurement Myth #1: There is a silver bullet when it comes to measurement.

As much as this would make for a much simpler world, there is no single metric to measure the worth of Communication/PR professionals. There’s both good and bad news that such a metric doesn’t exist.

For decades, academics have searched for a single, comprehensive metric capable of proving the priceless contribution made by the dedicated professionals working in these fields. Over time, this search has seen academics on a journey of discovery searching for the holy grail to express our value – from corporate identity, to corporate image and corporate reputation.

Right about now, you’re probably wondering why the emphasis has turned towards corporate reputation in recent times. There’s no denying that reputation is one of communication’s most deeply examined measures with a range of theoretical constructs, making it a real challenge to measure.

So where does that leave Communication/PR professionals? Basically, the worth of both is best understood by expressing and communicating their contribution to organisational success, through a range of metrics. These metrics demonstrate contributions to:

  • Financial performance: increased revenue or decreased costs
  • Non-financial success: for instance, regulatory approvals and how attractive an organisation may be as an employer

Additionally, the unique insights provided into stakeholder expectations must also be considered (a great example in this case is the approval of new major projects).

As you can see, there are good reasons for Communication/PR professionals to draw upon a range of metrics to measure their contribution, as opposed to a single metric.

Are you working in these fields and failing to measure and evaluate your contribution regularly? Perhaps you’re an organisational decision maker wondering why your Communication/PR department doesn’t present you with monthly reports like every other department.

Whichever category you fall into, learn how The Communication Dividend can be of use to you. This industry-shaping measurement framework, delivers a simple, practical approach and is capable of being applied to any organisation. It will mean your Communication/PR department will become more accountable than ever before.

In our next blog, we’ll be exploring PR Measurement Myth #2: All measures are equal.

By Deb Camden and Paul Cheal