Reporting: A fundamental aspect of PR
Reporting is a task that involves capturing coverage for a client. This information in turn contributes to the client’s Return on Investment (ROI) for PR efforts. Capturing coverage is a very important and precise task that allows us to show the client how much publicity they have received each month. We also determine the Advertising Value Equivalent (AVE) of coverage in order to determine of how much their coverage was worth in Rand value. It is also a way of tracking the quality of the coverage secured, as well as the strength of the publications they were published in.
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As the AVE system calculates an overall Rand value of the client’s exposure, it’s easier for the client to measure their ROI by looking at how much they invested into PR related activities in comparison to how much they received in return as brand publicity. Part of our job as a PR and Communications agency is to ensure that the client receives as much exposure as possible to their target audience.
Capturing coverage is also important to identify any negative articles or mentions that are published, we can act on it as soon as possible in order to protect and control our client’s reputation and overall brand.
It’s extremely important to ensure that the information generated and given to the client is correct. It’s so easy to rely on computers to do all of the necessary calculations, however, in addition to examining new coverage every day, it’s imperative check that all the data captured and formulated is correct. If you don’t check the data, it’s possible that when month-end approaches and it’s time to report back to your clients, the AVE values may be wrong which will indicate unrealistic PR performance to the client.
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In addition to measuring your client’s ROI and picking up negative coverage, reporting allows the client to see where they stand in comparison to their competitors as well as whether or not their brand is receiving enough exposure. These PR generated aspects are important to any business wanting to improve their brand publicity and competitive advantage and that is why reporting is of such importance to any PR agency.
My advice to any intern, is to ensure that you pay attention to detail when capturing coverage. Rather take the time to report properly, than rush through it and have multiple mistakes when your reports are due at month-end. Make sure to familiarise yourself with your agency’s clients before reporting so that you fully understand what is expected of you during this process. Don’t hesitate to ask your supervisor or a colleague if you are unsure about something as I feel that the reporting process is one of the most important aspects involved in an agency-client relationship, as it provides proof of how effective the PR agency is in the PR industry.
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