ROI/Evaluation Blog

Return on investment is to “measure the distribution and acceptance of messages and demonstrate a return on investment (ROI) to clients”(Watson,2013, p.2). ROI is something that can be difficult to figure out when it comes to public relations because it can often times be hard to say whether the audience purchases something because of PR, since PR a lot of times is through word of mouth, which is a communication method that can be difficult to measure. Watson says, “In reality few PR programmes can be measured in such a way because of the problems involved in putting a realistic and credible financial value to the results achieved”(2013, p.3).

For companies and clients, having employees that are exceptional PR people is a necessity to stand out amongst the rest. However, sometimes these PR efforts have to come to a halt or they may need to fire their agencies when there is not a sufficient ROI (return on investment) (Burke,2015, paragraph 1). This can result in public relations people to be less successful in getting the message out to a potential audience as well as they may have hoped. However, to improve a business’s ROI a company must choose appropriate tactics that are right for the type of business the client owns, and by choosing different strategies the business will really start seeing improvement in their return on investment (Burke,2015, paragraph 6).

Public relations and ROI go hand-in-hand because it is through PR people that we do what we do and buy what we buy, it isn’t because of looking at advertising commercials on the television but rather through word of mouth. PR strategist and blogger for The Huffington Post, Molly Borchers says, “Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself. People say good things about you when (a) you have a great product and (b) you get people to spread the word about it”(2014, paragraph 3).

Return on investment is a factor in PR that can become difficult to really measure, to help better the understanding of this, Borchers lists what experts have said are their best practices on PR measurement (2014).

In the beginning, ask “Why?”: Shonali Burke says, “Ultimately, your PR efforts should support your business objectives, so don’t stop asking, “Why?” until you get there.”

Agree on measurement goals upfront: Shonali says, “her biggest challenge in measuring the ROI in PR is that some companies sometimes think of measurement as an afterthought.”

Don’t just analyze outputs: Aaron Brown says, “This approach requires analysis against key competitors within target strategic areas in a defined set of media.”

Break down the silos: Deirdre Breakenridge said,”When you break down the silos you can show a more accurate picture of ROI.”

Use social media for a two-way dialogue: Jennifer Dulles says, “When brands need to measure sentiment or gauge whether opinions changed, they can simply ask.”

Give it time: “Julie Wright said the best measurement tool she ever had was a line out the door at her client’s store after an article hit on their product.”

The above expert advice can help to measure the ROI in relations to PR in ways that are simple, efficient and to the point. It can sometimes be a very difficult task but when done right, it will be worth the time and effort.




Borchers, M. (2014, March 26). Measuring the ROI of Public Relations: Five Experts Weigh In. In The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 24, 2015, from

Burke, L. (2015, June 30). Is Your PR Campaign Resulting in the ROI You’re Looking For?. In Did It. Retrieved November 23, 2015, from

Watson, T. (2013, March 7). ROI or evidence-based PR: The language of public relations evaluation. PRism, 3(1). Retrieved November 23, 2015, from


PR and Social Media

Public relations and social media really go together hand-in-hand, and it allows companies to instantly connect to their audience. Social media has made connecting to an audience faster than ever before.

Social media has really played a huge role in changing the way that people see and understand public relations. Public relations is all about communicating to a target audience, and with social media, communicating to them has really never been easier and more convenient. In the past PR people would have to always find ways to interact with their audience that would usually have to be face to face but with social media it can all be through a companies website. In a blog written by Dave Folkens, on ways that social media is changing public relations says, “Human connections made possible by listening and replying via social media bring the audience closer to a brand and softens the barrier that exists when people feel as if they’re talking to a company that views them strictly as a potential sale”(N.D, para. 3).

Social media can also help to promote political figures and can help them to be seen as more relatable and easier to connect with when they are seen on social media outlets as well. This can also help for these figures to connect with their younger viewers in ways that weren’t possible in the past. Political figures have used social media outlets such as Twitter, Facebook and Youtube, plus its own blog powered website that is run by the White House (Warren, 2010).

Companies are trying to find new ways to communicate with their target audience, rather then just having a website. They would like to have long term relationships with their costumers rather than a once-off sale relationship (Papasolomou, 2012). Currently, it is almost impossible to have a successful company when it’s only form of social media is a website, these companies need to go above and beyond when connecting to a potential audience for them to standout amongst the rest. When there is a creative person on the public relations team, it is now more possible to constantly share that with an audience through rapid fast social media. Papasolomou talks about how using social media in public relations can help the audience and the client to connect and states,

“Social media creates an environment that encourages a two-way conversation that corporations can capitalize on it in a way that can benefit their business and their customers” (2012, p. 325).

Overall, social media is a fantastic way to connect the audience in a way that is authentic and personal. People can now share how they feel about a client or company and that client or company can instantly respond to that or make changes from the audiences feedback.


Folkens, D. (n.d.). 3 Ways Social Media Is Changing Public Relations. In Top Rank Blog. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from

Papasolomou, I., & Melanthiou, Y. (2012). Social Media: Marketing Public Relations’ New Best Friend. Journal Of Promotion Management, 18(3), 319-328. doi:10.1080/10496491.2012.696458

Warren, C. (2010, March 16). How PR Pros Are Using Social Media for Real Results. In Mashable. Retrieved November 9, 2015, from

Social Media and Public Relations

Social media is an outlet that is constantly changing, and in public relations, they must keep up with these social media changes when communicating to the media. Social media is also one of the greatest ways for people in PR to communicate to a mass audience in a quick and accurate way. They are also able to target one particular audience, for example if they want to target children, they could put an advertisement in the APP of a child’s game. There are a majority of ways to communicate through social media which is why it’s such a popular source for PR people to use to communicate to people.

Social media continues to change and therefor public relations has to change along with it. In a book called Social Media and Public Relations written by Breakenridge, he expands on the idea of how social media is such a huge part of public relations and said, “Public relations will continue to transform, and the changes you see are monumental. For better or for worse, a career in PR means handling communications in the public spotlight because of the increasing use of social media”(2012, p.1). People in the PR field must therefor conduct research to keep up with the ever-changing social media and it also benefits if they are tech-savy so they can better communicate to their target audience.

In a book written by Brian Solis and Deirdre Breakenridge is about how social media is reinventing public relations. This is because of how social networks are booming and putting social outlets like the newspaper out of business. Nothing else can communicate to a mass audience as fast as social media can. Solis and Breakenridge talk about how PR firms are always looking for experts in this area of communication, they said, “These highly sought-after New Media PR practitioners include those who blog, run a podcast or video show, communicate in popular micro-media networks such as Twitter, create profiles across several social networks and actively cultivate their social graph, customize pages with an understanding of “lite” HTML, and participate in the communities that are important to them (whether professionally or personally)”(2009, p. 2). With social media constantly changing, this means people in the public relations field need to change how they think or even hire people that have better experience with the examples listed because social media is changing before their eyes.

Public relations and social media are almost the same thing except social media is used online and public relations isn’t always used online. In a blog post written by Falls he talks about the important of social media on public relations and says, “To be effective in social media, whether as a marketer or just an ordinary participant, you must, first and foremost, communicate well”(2008, 3). This blog really focuses on how social media and public relations depends on one another.

PR and social media really go hand-in-hand, and communication to a particular audience usually isn’t successful without the other. By social media being one of the greatest communication tools, it is imperative for public relations specialists are comfortable with using social media to deliver a message to people.


Breakenridge, D. K. (2012). Social Media and Public Relations (p. 1). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc. Retrieved from

Falls, J. (2008, July 18). Social Media is the Responsibility of Public Relations. In Social Media Explorer. Retrieved November 2, 2015, from

Solis, B., & Breakenridge, D. K. (2009). Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: How Social Media is Reinventing the Aging Business of PR (p. 2). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc. Retrieved from