December 8, 2011

Wrapping Up

(No I haven’t given up on this blog already)
It’s that time of year – time to write your program wrap report. “Ugh!” That’s all I have to say and I’m sure many of you share the sentiment. The accurate capture and analysis of PR efforts can be a difficult thing to do – let alone communicate in a meaningful way. Easy things to tabulate include:
·         Number of press releases distributed
·         Number of interviews/briefings conducted
·         Number of features, briefs, mentions, posts
o   How many were positive/negative/neutral
·         Increase in Twitter/Facebook followers
·         Number of YouTube views
These are all tangible things your company will be able to set benchmarks around. But, what about the intangible things that public relations pros contribute to? If I provided a laundry list of the number of times I tweaked messaging and briefing notes based on industry news and journalist/analyst feedback, we’d be here for weeks and my report would be incredibly boring. Naming each report or partnership agreement that was reviewed for brand standards and the “PR perspective” would make anyone weep. I still think the risk analyses provided to senior executives is some of my best writing, but would anyone else care?
As a result, I like to keep things pretty high-level focused on measurable tactics, and bring anecdotes to the table. I focus on tangible items that my team and company at large will identify with – the announcement about a major customer win that involved a great team effort, the article that a customer read and brought to a meeting, the shout-out on Twitter from the daughter of one of our video spokespeople.
If you’re lucky enough to have an entire team of people monitoring and analyzing your communications programs, news, industry perceptions, and reputation, a wrap report becomes a nice-to-have but not always necessary because your finger is on the pulse every minute of every day. But, if you’re like most people I know, you’re a one-man-show carving out a bit of time to complete your annual wrap report and set benchmarks for next year. I suggest you put a little color in it people! It’s the festive holiday season after all. Even if all you have is plain, brown paper to work with the least we can do is put a bow on it right?!


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