According to a commissioned study by Champion Communications called “B2B PR For Growth,” 45% of senior B2B marketers admit to relying on “Instinct” and “Anecdote” to assess their company’s PR performance.

The research, conducted by VansonBourne and involving over 100 senior marketing decision-makers and 50 CEOs from B2B companies, also reveals that 82% of CEOs find the PR measurements used in their organizations “Not useful.” Surprisingly, despite this dissatisfaction, 66% of senior marketing decision-makers believe their PR measurement is “extremely accurate.”

When senior marketers from B2B companies were asked about the metrics they use to evaluate their organization’s PR output, the following responses were given:

  • Social media engagements (47%)
  • Website visits (45%)
  • Instinct/Anecdote (45%)
  • SEO Rankings (44%)
  • Brand Awareness studies (40%)
  • Downloads (36%)
  • Share of Voice (35%)
  • Backlinks (32%)

When CEOs were asked about PR measurement, 82% agreed with the statement: “The metrics my CMO uses to demonstrate the ROI of our PR program aren’t useful to me,” while only 18% disagreed. This indicates a significant lack of satisfaction among CEOs regarding PR measurement.

Richard Cook, the Founder of Champion Communications, commented on the findings, stating that using a combination of metrics to analyze PR performance is promising. However, he emphasized that relying solely on instinct and anecdote is not scientific and should not be the sole metric for evaluating strategies. Cook suggested that a blended approach could provide a more comprehensive view of the strategy’s strength and success. He acknowledged that this complexity can be challenging for non-PR specialists and highlighted CEOs’ frustration due to the lack of clarity.

Cook also highlighted the collaborative nature of public relations, involving stakeholders from various parts of the business. He suggested that there is a need to involve all parties without making matters overly complicated or oversimplified. Cook mentioned that when the impact of B2B PR on business growth can be clearly attributed, reporting becomes more efficient, effective, relevant, and accessible. Demonstrating a direct correlation between PR activity and business growth increases board-level decision makers’ willingness to invest more time and resources.

Craig Hodges, the founder of Informing Decisions, an independent media evaluation firm, emphasized the need for communications teams to understand the expectations of the C-suite regarding the accomplishments of PR. By identifying the metrics that resonate with the CEO, the PR community can secure and maintain a seat at the table.

To access the full “B2B PR for Growth” report and learn more about Champion Communications’ assistance in business growth, please visit their website here.

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