The importance of evaluating brand storytelling

17 May 2021

In today’s digital age, we’re constantly bombarded with information. If you’re online and logged into social media for most of the day, you’ll have been fed information thousands of times from multiple sources by day’s end. News, ads, posts from KOLs, celebrities, netizens and friends are constantly streaming information to us. This content, however, is often scattered and disorganised.

As communicators, our role is to convert dispersed facts, data and statistics into brand stories and effective narratives that catch the attention of audiences in this increasingly busy space. Quality content is an increasingly critical part of the communications and marketing toolkit.

It’s important that we create meaningful stories that resonate intellectually and emotionally with audiences. Let’s imagine that there are two brands selling the same product. Brand A reaches the consumer by showcasing the same product that they’ve been selling for years and Brand B reaches the consumer by sharing strong narratives that communicate the brand’s history, quality and how products relate to your current circumstances. Brand B is likely to be more persuasive, right? Interesting storytelling is a powerful bridge to communicate with as people prefer engaging with a brand’s story and understanding how it’s relevant to them, rather than receiving hard sell product messaging.

Once a narrative has been built and an integrated PR strategy executed, it’s time to assess the effectiveness of the strategy and measure the campaign outputs.

 

Metrics for evaluating PR

If you still believe that AVE (advertising value equivalency) is the best metric for measuring the effectiveness of PR, it is time for an update. Advertising expense, which is based on the size of the ad and the reach of the medium it was placed in, was easy to measure. Nevertheless, this value is not actually garnering valid insights into the impact of integrated PR campaigns. Also, AVEs have not been adapted to align with today’s online society. Nowadays, communications professionals are being asked to work and measure across not just print and broadcast media, but also online publications and social media channels.

To prove the impact and value of our work, we turn to AMEC – the world’s leading media intelligence and insights professional organisation. The AMEC Integrated Evaluation Framework is a tool made for PR professionals to measure and prove the real impact of their work. It helps ‘operationalise’ the Barcelona Principles and demonstrates how to turn Principles into Action.

 

amec-interactive-tool

Source: AMEC 

 

Include measurement as part of strategy and timeline

Measuring PR effort is important for demonstrating the value of PR. As a first step, communicators should understand their goals, set objectives and targets, and define the purpose of the narrative. To accurately track PR effort, it’s important to understand the difference between what we are measuring, namely outputs, outtakes, outcomes and impact.

  1. Outputs show what your business does, such as number of press releases published, number of social media posts per day or week, number of newsletters distributed, and so on.
  2. Outtakes refers to the response and reactions from target audiences to the outputs. For instance, it can be evaluated according to audience attentiveness, understanding and engagement. Bounce rate would also be considered as an outtake metric.
  3. Outcomes refers to the actions that consumers take or the behavioral changes made, as a result of being exposed to the content and communications. For example, how many people click ‘buy now’ after reading an online article, or subscribe to the brands newsletter after visiting a pop-up store.
  4. Impact demonstrates how PR efforts have had a direct effect on business objectives, from improved reputation, to increased sales or donations, or change in policy, for example. These types of impacts and whether they have met the objectives originally set, can reflect the success of the work delivered.

Never underestimate the value of continuously evaluating your work. It’s the only way to assess what is working and what is not, identify what needs to be adjusted to reach the desired outcomes, and prove the value of the investment and work put into it. At the end of the project, the results should be analysed according to whether the objectives were met and the impact on the business.

If you’d like to speak to us about strategy development, measurements and insights, please get in touch with us here.

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