If I had a dollar for every time someone said “Goals must be measurable,” I’d have a nice little lump in my wallet. If I had a dollar for every time I’ve seen “Increase awareness of brand X” as a goal with no plans to measure pre- and post-awareness levels, I’d have to open a savings account.
We rarely prove if we actually built awareness. Many times we infer and imply that we built awareness based on media relations outcomes like impressions and advertising value equivalency. But who really knows if more of the client’s target customers actually are aware that the client exists?
Where’s the disconnect? If we PR folks say goals must be measurable, why do we still throw in that benign “raising awareness” goal that we know will never be measured?
If, for whatever reason, we can’t measure awareness for a particular client, why can’t we focus on goals we can measure? If you’re going to track total media hits and impressions, create goals for that. If success is a certain number of consumers actually interacting with a product, create goals for that.
The title asks if PR really builds awareness. Of course WE know it does. But are we proving it to others on campaigns where we’ve listed that as a goal?
So, ultimately, my question is this. Why has “increase awareness” become an acceptable, un-measurable goal for us? If CMOs are expecting measurable goals at the beginning of a PR product launch plan presentation, why aren’t we giving them goals we’ll actually measure and show whether or not we achieved?
*Image by Aussiegall.