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The 5 ways to make your PR more effective

Posted by Louise Palmer on 29th January 2014

What’s the secret to PR success in today’s real-time communications world? Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I may have found the answer.

PR Vital Signs, an initiative led by EML Wildfire that launched this week, sets out a new measurement framework for PR effectiveness.  The comprehensive study involved benchmarking the PR approach of over 80 tech-focused organisations in the UK and US, through interviews and in-depth analysis.

The result? A clear view on the activities and approaches that ensure PR performs as a strategic function that impacts real business outcomes.

The PR Vital Signs study has uncovered five core areas that will ensure your PR programme delivers optimal value in today’s ever-evolving communications environment:

  1. Work in real-time. The PR profession is evolving rapidly to keep pace with changes in the communications and business landscape. It’s a 24/7, real-time communications environment. Monitor and respond to the dynamics of this landscape and focus on effective execution to ensure quality responses, particularly to the unexpected.
  2. Define your mission. Setting an inspiring, overall mission has a direct influence on PR outcomes, and therefore the value of the PR contribution to the business. Define a clear mission to form the basis of your strategic PR planning and set your sights on pursuing this long-term goal.
  3. Invest in the right areas. If you’re going to invest time and resource in your PR programme then focus this on goal-setting and pursuing activities that will achieve those long-term goals. It’s key to understanding what you want your PR team to achieve and will ensure they are more likely to deliver results that contribute to business outcomes.
  4. Have a clear plan and stick to it. Strategic planning is a critical factor in determining the value that PR delivers to the business. The ad-hoc or opportunistic activity that the PR industry can be  prized for can often get in the way of achieving campaign objectives and broader commercial impacts. Resist being steered off course by activities and ideas that don’t feed into your plan. Ad-hoc activity often serves to be nothing more than a distraction.
  5. Don’t make it up. PR campaigns need to be founded upon research-based evidence. Track the success of previous campaigns, ensure you understand the motivations of your target audiences. In doing so you will ensure your PR efforts are focused on what delivers measurable progress towards your goals, and steered away from the activities that don’t.

Want to find out more, then download your copy of the full report here.



Louise Palmer

Deftly switching between business and consumer accounts, the focus for Louise remains the same; how can Wildfire tell clients’ stories in a way that is faithful, relevant and engaging? Her wide technology PR experience makes Louise an agile Managing Director, combining the strategic management of PR programmes with a hands-on approach to get under the skin of clients and motivate her teams.