Keeping Score in the Era of Modern Public Relations

by Cheryl on February 3, 2011

Super Bowl weekend is upon us, so a football metaphor is certainly in order.  In the game of football a team keeps score by tracking touchdowns, field goals, extra points and safeties.   But, as you know, there are many more factors involved in getting points on the board.  As a seasoned PR professional, I am constantly examining all the other factors that lead to my clients’ touchdowns, and asking myself how to place value on those efforts and initiatives.  My role as a public relations counsel has evolved from needing to tabulate “dollars for hits” to becoming a valued resource, member of a team who is working to achieve an overall goal and a true trusted advisor.   In short, the modern public relations professional provides much more than just media placements.

I am often called on to assist with strategy, plans, speaking engagements, sponsorships, research, and business development approaches in addition to article placements.   Now, In an era with increased interest in social media I have developed skills to respond to questions and coach clients on how to leverage media opportunities that were inconceivable five or 10 years ago to supplement the business development, marketing and public relations efforts. This is a tidal change from just five years ago when clients paid me for straight media placements.

Today’s public relations professional must add value far beyond media hits, and furthermore must understand what value means to each and every client.  Sometimes value means simply responding to an email or phone call in a timely manner and thereby demonstrating that you a more than just a media relations expert, but are also an accessible, and responsive, ally.

I am not sure what they are teaching in today’s public relations courses, but I hope they are encouraging, and maybe even demanding, students to know that to differentiate themselves they must have many different tools in their toolboxes.  And, the same holds true for law students and young lawyers.

How do you define value as a modern public relations professional? I look forward to your comments.


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