Revealed! How to Measure the Value of PR

By Lori

Welcome to Famous in Your Field! Here’s your free weekly tip to boost your fame factor.

With the new year so close you can already hear the noisemakers,I wanted to share a quick tip that you can use when you’re planning your 2012 marketing. (You do have a 2012 marketing plan, right? With a budget and initiatives mapped out on a calendar, yes?)

Solo entrepreneurs and small business owners often struggle with how to allocate their marketing budget – how much money to spend and where to get the biggest return.

And measuring the value of publicity or public relations can be one of the trickiest concepts of all. Getting exposure in the media by buying an ad,  paying an exhibitor’s fee or sponsoring an event are marketing expenses often referred to as “paid media.”

Publicity or mentions in the media that you didn’t pay for are what’s known as “free PR” or, more accurately, “earned media.”

PR coverage generally isn’t free. While you may not pay a fee to have your business mentioned in a local news segment, you (or your PR consultant) have likely invested many hours, researching the right media outlets to cover your business, establishing relationships with reporters, editors and producers and crafting a pitch (a story concept) that’s truly newsworthy.

So when you score some ink for your business, how do you actually measure the value of media mentions?

Here’s a simple method:

“Ad equivalence x 5”.

To break it down, ad equivalence is the cost of purchasing the same number of column inches as an advertisement in the same publication, or same amount of time on TV/radio.

Then, you multiply this equivalent ad cost by 5. Why 5? Because PR has five time more credibility and is five times more authoritative than advertising.

(Readers and listeners are skeptical of advertising. They view it as self-serving boasts, while PR is considered to be news that’s been vetted by an independent party – the reporter, editor or producer.)

Now that you’re armed with your formula to measure the value of PR, make sure that this powerful little tool makes it into your 2012 Marketing Plan!

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