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To many public relations project managers, "measurement" is a dirty word. Since the industry's infancy, empty catchphrases like "buzz" have been used to gauge success. But today, in an economy that's just beginning to recover from its fall, buzz simply doesn't justify a communication department's budget. Instead, tangible metrics are required to appease clients both big and small. Website traffic. Audience reach. Sales correlation. And what about advertising equivalency, the metric oft cited by clients to sell internal audiences?
Identifying and implementing sound measurement processes is one the largest obstacles that the industry faces. Debate surrounding the topic is so heated, it even prompted the declaration of international organization standards like these from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Measurement Task Force.
The key to delivering useful metrics that will keep your PR budget firmly intact is to support your client in justifying dollars spent. But first, you must decipher what those results are -- and the tools needed to track them....
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