The public relations (PR) industry is often associated with crisis management, “spin,” and fluff media campaigns designed to inject soft stories into the news ecosystem.
But in the business world, PR sits at a more interesting point at the intersection of digital media and marketing. Yet even industry leaders seem to be unsure about what the future of the PR sector looks like: In a recent global Holmes Report survey, only 27 percent of agency leaders believe that the term “public relations” will clearly and adequately describe their work by 2020.
For years, many PR professionals have clamored for a PR-focused return on investment metric—a PROI, so to speak. Today, with spending on PR information and software reaching US$2.9 billion in 2015—a 5.5 percent increase over 2014—the communication industry is on the cusp of a shift in PR’s ability to prove its impact on the bottom line.
Key to that shift is media monitoring and media measurement. With the right tools, media intelligence data can be a high-value tool for business intelligence and long-term decision making. For the PR industry to grow and thrive in the long term, the time has come for tools that maximize “PROI” to help public relations prove its value.
ROI-driven data, in fact, can help counteract the uncertainty and ambiguity that currently exist in the PR sector. Yes, the global PR industry, growing by double digits just two years earlier, slowed to 5 percent growth in 2015. Yet the value of PR has arguably never been more apparent for businesses: PR now generates conversion rates 10 to 50 times those of advertising. Even amid ongoing industry changes, it can be argued that PR in today’s environment is critical to marketing and business success....
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