Public relations is a profession that is notoriously hard to measure.
Sales and marketing can be measured by revenue.
Production can be measured by the number of things produced.
But how do you actually measure public perception, opinions and general feel towards an organisation?
It's something that I've struggled with.
I suppose my results can be measured by doing a pre and post survey with a random group in the population, but even that's a little hit and miss. Not to mention really costly.
Traditionally, public relations is measured by the number of media clips that a practitioner manages to get published in the newspapers. But just because it's in the papers doesn't mean it does anything to the reader.
Just because you read something doesn't necessarily change your perception of an organisation.
Perhaps a good way to measure results is by the reaction you get from readers who have read an article. But how can you ever be there to properly measure reaction?
I have no idea.
But just this week, I received a really heartwarming result that enabled me to sort of measure the results of what I have done.
The Adventist Church in Toowoomba has been involved in packing "bags of love" for children who have been taken into foster care because their parents were manufacturing drugs illegally.
They rely on donations to make up bags that contain items like homemade quilts, toiletries and toys.
After a few phonecalls, I actually managed to get their story published in their local paper.
But it wasn't the published article that warmed my heart, it was an email that I received from the folks at the church:
"We have had more interest (after the article was published) with people offering to make quilts and giving donations."
People read the article! It stirred them into action! Yay!