How McDonald’s measures PR success

Finding the secret sauce to measurement.

McDonald's measures PR by tying it to business goals

Attendees at PR Daily’s Media Relations and Measurement Conference in New York City got a rare look behind the curtain at how McDonald’s measures its PR success.

Their secret sauce, if you will.

Jesse Lewin, senior director of communications for the burger giant, shared real-world examples of how his team helps tie PR goals to business goals, and to measure what successes are directly attributable to public relations.

Ultimately, Lewin says, good measurement is about helping pros be honest about what’s successful (and what’s not) and what matters (and what doesn’t).

Why do we measure?

It’s easy for the real goals of measurement to get lost. But it’s important to keep in mind throughout what the measuring is for.

“Metrics must help us inform our strategy,” Lewin says. “If we’re thinking of metrics as the end and not the beginning and not throughout, we’re not using them the most effectively.”

This is why McDonald’s believes so strongly in measurement:

  • Demonstrating how communications activities contribute to business goals
  • Providing the “so what” insights that inspire meaningful action, including to executives and others who may not be overly familiar with PR
  • Comparing performance and improving results over time
  • Encouraging communicators to shift their thinking and adjust strategy

Of these, Lewin says, the most important is grounding everything in the business goals of the organization. He suggests meeting with business partners from various departments to map out the road ahead and better understand how PR can ladder up into those goals and support the overall business objectives.

This should all help create a measurement loop in which each metric measured helps inform your next strategy and make it better and even more successful.

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2 Responses to “How McDonald’s measures PR success”

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