Measuring ROI: Avoiding Catastrophic Cost Through PR’s Crisis Counseling

Mark Weiner, IPR Measurement Commission/Chief Insights Officer, Cision

In PR, we often speak of proving the value of PR and generating a positive PR return-on-investment (ROI) as if the two are interchangeable. We need to differentiate them. The board of directors certainly knows the difference. By misusing these terms, we undermine PR’s professional standing.

Proving value is a subjective measure: values change from organization to organization, and even from one person to another within the same organization. That’s what makes proving value difficult.

Generating a positive PR ROI requires a quantitative assessment relating to attributable revenue, as well as revenue retention and cost avoidance.

In the previous two issues of PRNEWS, we focused on efficiency as the most accessible path to ROI and revenue generation as the most alluring ROI route. This month, we highlight avoiding catastrophic cost.
The Cost of Reputation
As we’ve said previously, everyone within an organization shares a responsibility to uphold its reputation. In addition to the communication team, accounting, sales and manufacturing have roles in building and maintaining reputation.

The benefits of a good reputation are well known: such companies command higher prices in the marketplace, they pay less to vendors and attract and retain the best talent.

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