Measurement's importance, mobile tour planning, more

How can I convince my boss to fund a PR metrics system?

How can I convince my boss to fund a PR metrics system?

"Many communication plans are long on tactics, but short on measuring results," says BurrellesLuce SVP Steve Shannon.

It's tough to prove that a single PR initiative has a bottom-line impact on sales or reputation, he explains, "but the more we measure, the greater our credibility - and there's much we can evaluate."

Things to note, according to Shannon, include: Are stories that contain our key messages appearing in outlets that reach the audiences we value? What news is driving coverage?
Are our spokespeople quoted? Is the tone of coverage favorable? What's our balance of favorable, neutral, and unfavorable coverage? Do writers we've worked with produce stories? And how does our coverage compare - in share of voice, tone, and other measures - with the competition?

"Remind your boss the best way to show top leaders you're effective is by the numbers," Shannon suggests.

Multicultural outreach
Why should we produce a radio news release, or conduct a radio media tour, in Spanish?

Hispanics are the largest minority group in the US and make up 14% of the population, with a spending power in 2007 of $863 billion. By 2050, they're projected to be 24% of the US population. They also spend more time with radio than with any other medium.

"Radio is an excellent forum to reach this group," notes Javier Robles, VP of Hispanic Projects of KEF Media Associates in Atlanta. He warns, however, that you shouldn't simply translate your English materials into Spanish.

"For your message to resonate with this community," he advises, "you need to make sure you are working with a native Hispanic PR pro who understands the subtleties between the English and Spanish cultures. It is also imperative that you choose a spokesperson fluent in Spanish to deliver that message.

"The larger metro areas - from LA to New York to Miami - deliver huge numbers of Hispanic radio listeners, prime targets for your news," Robles adds.

The listening audience is estimated at 1.76 million at some 60 Spanish news/talk stations alone, he notes. In addition, digital radio has spawned an explosion of new Hispanic channels, from three to 12 stations just in LA alone.

Mobile tours
How do I select the right market for my mobile tour?

With mobile tours crisscrossing the country year-round, it can sometimes seem like a traffic jam out there, notes Matt Glass of Eventage.

"Which markets your tour stops in depends on a lot of factors, and making the right strategic decisions can make a big difference in your ROI," he says. "For instance, if you've got a specific target market, go where they are." Places like Miami, San Antonio, and LA are great to reach Latino audiences. Big college towns are great for, well, college kids.

"Instead of only focusing on the top 10 or 15 [markets], don't forget mid-sized markets like Cleveland; Portland, OR; Salt Lake City; Birmingham, AL; and Austin, TX," Glass advises. In smaller markets, you'll have a better chance of getting local media and, perhaps, better cooperation from city government and other local agencies and partners.

Think about kicking off the tour in a major media market like New York, coupled with an SMT or b-roll package that goes out nationally, Glass adds. Then head out on the road to some smaller markets to focus on the consumer experience.

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