How to ‘speak CEO’: 3 surprising measurement tips

Flashy KPIs and vanity metrics might make your boss happy, but they won’t optimize your communications. Here are three more strategic—and surprising—ways to quantify your value.

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Tips for measuring PR success in a way that matters.

PR professionals have been looking for a plug-and-play measurement panacea for decades. That’s a problem, according to Katie Paine, founder of KD Paine Partners.

“A ‘silver bullet’ mindset suggests a one-time fix,” says Paine, who presented at PR Daily’s Media Relations & Measurement Conference last week in New York City. “It’s not sustainable.”

The solution, she believes, is to think more strategically and “speak CEO.” Here’s how:

“Instead of a magic silver bullet, make measurement more like cute puppies and kittens,” Paine suggests. “They were genetically made that way to be adopted, nurtured and survive longer. So make measurement something that will survive, be budgeted for and included.”

How to do that? Her advice is to “rebrand” measurement at your organization.

“The word ‘measurement’ can seem unapproachable. Better might be phrases like ‘assumption testing,’ ‘market research’ or ‘opportunity identification,’” she explains.

“They could be more in line with what your C-suite wants to hear,” she says. “They make you part of the strategy and planning, instead of being relegated to justifying expense afterwards.”

Jesse Lewin, senior director of communications at McDonald’s, agrees.

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