What are some typical public relations objectives?
Here we go:
The Definition of Public Relations
To begin, we must define public relations:
How To Define Public Relations
Someone once tried to count the number of actual definitions of public relations, but they allegedly gave up after finding over 2,000+ different versions.
Amongst so many definitions of public relations, here’s the definition that I find to be most useful.
Public Relations (PR) = the strategic and tactical use of communication to develop and maintain productive relationships with stakeholders, influencers, and publics.
Stakeholders in PR = incentivised representatives with various interests in the organisation.
Influencers in PR = independent gatekeepers with audiences of importance to the organisation.
Publics in PR = situational groups with similar communicative behaviours affecting the organisation.
Learn more: How To Define Public Relations
The Stakeholders in Public Relations
So, what do public relations professionals do? In short, we manage the communication with various stakeholders:
Stakeholders in Public Relations
In PR, we often discuss stakeholders. And our PR specialisations are named based on which stakeholders we’re responsible for managing. 1The stakeholder model is far from perfect. There are plenty of overlaps, especially when it comes to media relations. Also, the corporate communications function is often regarded as an umbrella … Continue reading
Here’s the stakeholder model in PR:
A widespread misconception is that the PR function only deals with journalists, editors, and influencers (Media Relations) within the scope of attracting new customers (Marketing PR). But such work represents only a tiny percentage of all the stakeholder relationships PR professionals must manage daily.
Learn more: Stakeholders in Public Relations
Examples of Public Relations Objectives
We could also take a closer look at a few examples of what types of objectives a typical public relations officer has:
Typical PR Objectives
PR is quite similar to other white-collar industries. A typical day for many office workers might contain:
All of the above is certainly true for the PR profession as well. But more specifically, there are many different types of typical PR objectives:
Learn more: Public Relations Objectives for Organisations
The Golden Rule of Measuring Communications
And as a final reminder — setting the objectives is likely to have a more significant impact on the organisation than measuring them.
The Golden Rule of Measuring Communications
In the long-term, what you decide to measure in strategic communications (PR) will impact your organisation more than any actions taken due to any measurement output.
If an organisation focuses on the wrong metrics, it might establish, maintain, or develop the wrong long-term relationships. 2The insight is based on 18+ years of practical consulting experience.
Learn more: The Golden Rule of Measuring Communications
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PR Resource: The Barcelona Principles 3.0
Barcelona Principles 3.0
The PR industry has united around a series of principles for measuring communications. The latest iteration comes from AMEC, the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication.
1. Setting goals is an absolute prerequisite to communications planning, measurement, and evaluation—The founding principle of SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound) goals as a foundation for communications planning has been promoted to an essential prerequisite. It pushes measurement and evaluation as a core component of the planning process, articulating target outcomes and how progress towards these will be assessed.
2. Measurement and evaluation should identify outputs, outcomes, and potential impact—Previously, the Principles recommended measuring outcomes, rather than simply counting outputs. The updated principles extend this to consider longer term impact of communications strategy. According to Levine, this means thinking about “the channels we are impacting, and change we would like to see through campaigns, events and activations.”
3. Outcomes and impact should be identified for stakeholders, society, and the organisation—From the original focus on business metrics, such as sales and revenue, the 2020 update embraces a more holistic view of performance. It allows the model to be more inclusive of a broader range of organisations and communications roles that are not necessarily profit-driven.
4. Communication measurement and evaluation should include both qualitative and quantitative analysis—“To understand the full impact of your work, it is crucial that you use the full suite of methods to measure those outcomes,” summarised Levine in describing the evolution of this principle to not just quantify but also understand how messages are being received, believed and interpreted.
5. AVEs are not the value of communication—The message remains consistent and clear; “we continue to believe that AVEs do not demonstrate the value of our work.” It is important that communications measurement and evaluation employs a richer, more nuanced, and multi-faceted approach to understand the impact of communications.
6. Holistic communication measurement and evaluation includes all relevant online and offline channels—Our founding principle that social media can and should be measured is so obvious today. The 2020 iteration reflects the game-changing shift in social communications’ capabilities, opportunities, and influence, such that all relevant online and offline channels should be measured and evaluated equally. The AMEC measurement framework promotes clarity across earned, owned, shared, and paid channels to ensure consistency in approach towards a common goal.
7. Communication measurement and evaluation are rooted in integrity and transparency to drive learning and insights—Sound, consistent, and sustained measurement calls for integrity and transparency in recognition of today’s attention to data privacy and stewardship as organisations comply with new regulations, such as GDPR. This is also a statement that measurement isn’t simply about data collection and tracking, but about learning from evaluation and applying insight back into communications planning. It recognises the need to be transparent about the context in which programmes are run and being aware of any bias that may exist in the tools, methodologies and interpretations applied.
Download the Barcelona Principles 3.0 Presentation here
Read also: How To Measure Public Relations
PR Resource: How To Measure Attitudes
How To Measure Attitudes
How do you measure attitudes? There are a few things to think about to get your measurement right. 3The Handbook of Research for Communication and Technology, 34.5 Measuring Attitudes. In AECT.
An attitude measurement should meet the following criteria:
There are four main types of measuring approaches:
There are four main types of measuring methods:
I’m a big fan of using questionnaires and standardised interviews for PR measurements:
Validity. Attitudes are psychological, so I strive to clarify what I want to measure, nothing more, nothing less. And I never add any unnecessary complexity.
Reliability. People experience the world differently. But even if attitude measurements aren’t exact, their usefulness for PR more than makes up for it.
Learn more: How To Measure Public Relations
|1||The stakeholder model is far from perfect. There are plenty of overlaps, especially when it comes to media relations. Also, the corporate communications function is often regarded as an umbrella category for the other disciplines.|
|2||The insight is based on 18+ years of practical consulting experience.|
|3||The Handbook of Research for Communication and Technology, 34.5 Measuring Attitudes. In AECT.|