A few years back when discussing campaigns with travel and tourism clients, KPIs were either set by the amount of coverage or PR value generated. This is no longer the case. Not a single client is satisfied with just these figures – now, they expect the compete cycle, from concept to execution to media output to actual outcome.
What is an outcome? For e-commerce businesses, it could be an app download, traffic or a transaction. The aim of coverage should not only be a brand building exercise but to also hit the target audience with a call to action. Otherwise, what is the point of more coverage? What this means for PR professionals is that if you follow the old way of gaining more coverage, this will no longer be enough to satisfy the client.
At the end of the day, spending on PR will inevitably drive more business. So, as a PR professional, how do we prepare ourselves for the e-world where data is highly transparent and trackable? For example when I am planning a travel and tourism project, instead of only gaining good coverage for the client I will look to attract potential customers to finalise their bookings by collaborating with OTA, airlines, etc.
The shifting approach to outcomes means that PR industry is facing a new challenge, but it is a challenge that can only make us better.