History vs Hype

When I saw the headline in today’s PR News: A New Method to Measure Media Relations for Business Growth, I quite naturally got interested.

But when I read this paragraph:

“Orlando Health, in conjunction with MediaSource as its PR agency partner and Mastercard as a measurement partner, is debunking the myth that media relations campaigns can’t be tied to business growth. We believe this is the first time this technique has been used to measure the business value of healthcare media relations—and potentially media relations as a whole.”

Suffice it to say I had to get several paper towels to clean up my monitor. Sorry Media Source, but you are about two decades behind the times.

The myth that you can’t tie PR efforts to business growth and/or value was debunked decades ago. In 2004 Greg Jarboe and Southwest Airlines won the Golden Ruler of Measurement Award for showing how much ticket revenue was generated by Greg’s SEO-optimized press release. Health care workers in British Columbia tied an increase in residents being vaccinated to their PR and social media campaign in 2007.

Also in 2007 ASPCA and KDPaine & Partners were honored by the IPR for our work showing  how much revenue was generated by Shonali Burke’s PR efforts in the wake of the Pet Food crisis and other PR efforts – and how donations were impacted when the PR team was silenced for legal reasons.

In 35 years of measuring communications, I can cite many more examples of how PR has made tangible, measurable contributions to the business goals of my clients. Some were calculated in donations, some in revenue, some in subscriptions, some in product sales.

Never mind that if you asked a representative sample of PR professionals what impact they have on business growth, many will cite metrics that don’t have dollar signs directly attached like an increase in preference, consideration or NPS score. All of which presumably lead to business growth.

For more than three decades, I’ve gone to work every morning to help organizations define and measure, in concrete, quantifiable terms, the value that communications delivers. And I’m obviously not the only one doing this. There are dozens of others in our profession who quantify the business value of PR and communication every day. So, while I have nothing but admiration for Orlando Health’s efforts to measure its contribution to growth, the efforts are certainly not “trailblazing,” and you are claiming to “debunk” a myth that was debunked decades ago.

“Orlando Health, in conjunction with MediaSource as its PR agency partner and Mastercard as a measurement partner, is debunking the myth that media relations campaigns can’t be tied to business growth. We believe this is the first time this technique has been used to measure the business value of healthcare media relations—and potentially media relations as a whole.”

 Sorry Media Source, but you are about two decades behind the times.

The myth that you can’t tie PR efforts to business growth and/or value was debunked decades ago. Health care workers in British Columbia tied an increase in residents being vaccinated to their PR and social media campaign in 2007. In 2004 Greg Jarboe and Southwest Airlines won the Golden Ruler of Measurement Award  for showing how much ticket revenue was generated by Greg’s SEO-optimized press release.

In 2007 ASPCA and KDPaine & Partners were also honored by the IPR for our work showing  how much revenue was generated by Shonali Burke’s PR efforts in the wake of the Pet Food crisis and other PR efforts – and how donations were impacted when the PR team was silenced for legal reasons.

In 35 years of measuring communications, I can cite many more examples of how PR has made tangible, measurable contributions to the business goals of my clients. Some were calculated in donations, some in revenue, some in subscriptions, some in product sales.

Never mind that if you asked a representative sample of PR professionals what impact they have on business growth, many will cite metrics that don’t have dollar signs directly attached like an increase in preference, consideration or NPS score. All of which presumably lead to business growth.

For more than three decades, I’ve gone to work every morning to help organizations define and measure,  in concreate quantifiable terms, the value that communications delivers. And I’m obviously not the only one doing this. There are dozens of others in our profession who quantify the business value of PR and communication every day. So, while I have nothing but admiration for Orlando Health’s efforts to measure its contribution to growth, the efforts are certainly not “trailblazing,” and you are claiming to “debunk” a myth that was debunked decades ago.

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