I’ve already learnt a lot in the first month, ranging from how difficult it is to avoid newspapers in a city like London to (very surprisingly) how much I miss print advertising.
This week, with a very heavy heart, I look at a pretty compelling reason for newspapers to be made extinct…and please excuse the over-dramatic tone…it’s part of my DNA…
I think most PR Pros will forgive me for using this classic image of Robert De Niro to illustrate how frustrating one element of our remit can be: measurement and evaluation.
The ‘Daddy’ of pain comes in the form of calculating a Return On Investment (ROI) on national / regional campaigns.
We’ve all been there. Run a flawless campaign. Achieved ‘hits’ in every local publication possible and then two months later we get a report back saying that it ‘did not’ meet the coverage expectations set.
(Cue the De Niro image)
Because, even after all these years, we still haven’t found a flawless solution that ensures every single piece of regional print coverage can be monitored for / collected – in fact, many national pieces slip under the radar too, which is the PR equivalent of torture.
So, last week, when I sat in on a presentation from an online monitoring company, I had a scary thought: when it comes to evaluation, we might actually be better off if newspapers didn’t exist.
This was brought to life via a case study of a recent campaign which tracked sentiment and buzz against activity.
(Note: An only digital experience could also be a PRs worse nightmare…very hard to say ‘the figure is lower because me missed some local / regional pieces’ – although we’d probably still try…)
Questions, so many questions…
But, is an ‘all digital’ landscape what the industry needs?
Do we need to be able to categorically collate and evaluate every single piece of ‘coverage’ we achieve in order to be an easier ‘buy’?
Could a life minus newspapers ensure we know exactly what impact our activity is having?
Could we finally provide an accurate answer to the ‘what value does PR deliver’ question?
Take the sentiment out of the equation and the argument for a ‘newspaper-less’ existence in relation to this issue is pretty compelling…sadly…
Note: The next installment in this series will look at how painful it is not to enjoy newspapers while on holidays…perhaps the cruelest experience thus far…