Nigerian organisations don’t budget for PR measurement, evaluation – Ayaosi

By Ibidunni Banjoko

Austin Ayaosi, Lead Analyst at BrandImpact Consulting said there is hardly an organisation in Nigeria that has a budget for PR measurement and evaluation thus making pitching for a measurement and evaluation brief is much more difficult than pitching for a regular PR brief.

He made this assertion during an exclusive interview with MARKETING EDGE, he noted that what has kept him going was the desire to be a go-to firm for PR and Corporate Communications Managers seeking data-driven and actionable insights to make smarter decisions and achieve better results.

According to Ayaosi, what has negatively influenced PR measurement and evaluation the most is the myth that PR can’t be measured. I have always believed that PR can be measured. In some cases, the impact of PR can be linked to an organisation’s bottom line. It requires a deeper focus and dedication; a thorough understanding of the entire PR measurement and evaluation cycle; and a lot of work.

“For instance, we signed on a client in 2020, seven months into the engagement, the PR Manager won the company’s Annual Outstanding Performance Award, in acknowledgment of PR’s contributions to the business. It was the first time a PR manager won the award”.

He noted that PR and marketing have become increasingly integrated. According to him, one most common mistake organisations make is attempting to measure PR performance in silos. Where PR plays a supporting role, measuring such a role should be done in alignment with the overall goals which it supports.

“it is difficult to truly measure and evaluate the success and impact of a marketing campaign in which PR provided support without aligning PR objectives with marketing goals for the campaign. Similarly, measuring the impact of internal communications on employees should be done in collaboration with HR unit”.

“Another mistake is that more often than not, PR and Corporate Communications managers don’t take time to understand their organisations. It is important to understand an organisation; know the organisation’s priorities, then align your role and measurement/evaluation framework with the priorities”, he added.

He continued: “I believe that’s what the smartest practitioners in Nigeria have done to secure a seat at the table. I call them the smartest practitioners because the zenith of PR career is sitting with the suit-and-tie ladies and gentlemen of the Board. Only a few practitioners in Nigeria have attained such career height”.

“The good thing is that measurement, evaluation, and research is the easiest route to showing the impact of PR on the organisation. My advice to PR professionals has always been: “Measure what matters to the Board; if you can’t do that, then make what you measure matter to the Board”. Either way, you just have to measure”.

He said further that, “Social media along with technology are having huge influence on measurement. Social media has made some PR professionals think that exposure is awareness; those followers automatically translate to influence; that likes simply mean long-lasting relationships; those engagements automatically turn to advocacy”.

“I have met PR professionals who told me that they measured and got what they needed from social media. Hence, they don’t see the need for a holistic measurement approach. Meanwhile, Principle 6 of the Barcelona Principles 3.0 clearly states that “holistic communication measurement and evaluation include all relevant online and offline channels. Social media is just part of the online channels”. He elucidated.



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