Measuring the value of PR

Cacciatore, M. A., Meng, J., & Berger, B. K. (2016, March). Measuring the value of PR?: An international investigation of how practitioners view the challenge and solution. Presented at the annual convention of the International Public Relations Research Conference (IPRRC), Miami, FL.

Abstract: The measurement and evaluation of public relations has undoubtedly emerged as one of the most critical issues facing both practitioners and the PR industry as a whole. In this study, we seek to better understand the problems facing public relations leaders, focusing specifically on the issue of measurement as a method of demonstrating the value of PR. In pursuing this task, we turn to global data collected as part of the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations. We employed Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) tests to show that measurement is viewed as a paramount issue facing PR leaders across the globe; however, it is viewed as particularly important in Latin American countries. Conversely, PR practitioners in Germanic European countries were typically more likely to downplay the significance of measurement relative to other issues, while still rating its importance well above the scale mid-point. We also found both commonalities and differences in the tactics being employed around the world to address the measurement issue. Finally, we ran a series of hierarchical ordinary least squares (OLS) regressions to better understand what leadership qualities PR practitioners believe are most needed for dealing with measurement as a PR problem. We found that educational background and workplace environment played an important role in shaping how practitioners felt leadership should deal with PR measurement challenges.

Michael Cacciatore  Juan Meng