PRE is likely to become a familiar acronym to PROs this summer -
possibly as familiar as the IPR and PRCA, both of which have been
pulling out all the stops in an effort to get PRE (planning, research
and evaluation) on the agenda of every PR practitioner in the coming
months, through a combination of initiatives and conferences.
First off the blocks from the bodies' jointly-funded PRE-fix group is a
website targeted at both PR practitioners and 'PR decision-makers', soon
to be followed by a revamped Planning, Research and Evaluation
www.PRE-fix.org.uk is an ambitious project that aims to capture the
attention of not only PR operators but also the uninitiated - budget
holders such as CEOs, MDs and FDs. PRE-fix will probably need to review
its classification of this group as PR decision-makers, as it is
unlikely to be one with which the average CEO would identify. But the
site content does include some very valuable material for the
unconverted, including well-structured case studies and a healthy
emphasis on use of data for strategic planning, including a proposed
Advertising Planning Equivalent measure based upon coverage and
frequency rather than cash.
The idea is not new - a similar measure was first proposed by former QBO
and PRCA chairman Quentin Bell in the late 1990s. But if this site is to
attract the attention of those non-PR professionals who hold the purse
strings, it may provide a valuable placebo as they are weaned off their
addiction to AVEs.
PRE-fix's site is a considered and practical contribution to the
campaign for a more scientific approach to the business of PR. The real
challenge will be to ensure hits not only from the faithful but also the
sceptics further up the management chain.