Bridging the gap: aligning your creative impact with a business mindset

Creatives must embrace a proactive approach to measurement, moving beyond vanity metrics and focusing on commercial goals

Gary Preston

CEO and Co-Founder CoverageBook


In today's ever-evolving PR and marketing communications landscape, the importance of accurate measurement and meaningful demonstration of impact cannot be overstated. Recent research that we carried out highlights the challenges faced by PR professionals in aligning their efforts with commercial goals and showcasing their value to stakeholders.

A significant finding is the disconnect between traditional metrics and the expectations of senior leaders and budget holders. Only a third of marcomms professionals currently align their activities with commercial goals, which shows an increasing need for a more business-centric approach to measurement. Creative efforts often overlook considerations such as new business, sales, and investment generation when demonstrating impact. This gap can lead to scepticism from budget holders, and result in unwanted budget cuts for the PRs.

Creatives must embrace a proactive approach to measurement, moving beyond vanity metrics and focusing on those directly aligned with commercial goals. The failure to demonstrate the true value of their communication efforts can hamper the ability to secure investment and showcase tangible outcomes.

Creatives must embrace a proactive approach to measurement, moving beyond vanity metrics and focusing on those directly aligned with commercial goals.

Gary Preston, CEO & Co-Founder of CoverageBook

The impact of measurement on budget decisions

The correlation between impact proof and budget decisions is particularly pronounced among agency respondents in our research, who have reported that improved impact reporting could influence budget decisions. By effectively demonstrating the value of their work through impactful measurement and reporting, marcomms professionals can secure the necessary investment to help drive business success. By aligning creative strategies with business objectives, and effectively communicating impact to stakeholders, PR and marketing professionals can build trust and credibility, and ultimately secure the investment needed to achieve organisational goals.

So, what can PR professionals do to address these challenges and better measure their impact? Here are some practical recommendations:

  • Align activities with commercial goals: Identify activities aligned with goals such as new business, sales, and investment generation to demonstrate direct impact on the bottom line. By aligning the creative communication strategy with business objectives, professionals can effectively showcase their contribution to organisational success.
  • Implement technology: Leverage technology for more effective data gathering and analysis to streamline reporting processes. There are several tools that simplify measurement and reporting, making it easier for professionals to demonstrate the value of their work.
  • Communicate impact: Develop compelling narratives highlighting the impact of creative efforts on key business metrics to stakeholders. By crafting impactful stories that showcase the tangible results of communication initiatives, professionals can effectively highlight their value to stakeholders.
  • Cross-department collaboration: Work closely with sales and marketing teams to align activities with broader business initiatives. By collaborating with other departments, professionals can ensure that their efforts are integrated into overall business strategies, maximising their impact and demonstrating their value to stakeholders.

The future of measurement

To address the need for simplified measurement and reporting we have developed a new free tool aimed at democratising communication measurement. By correlating marcomms coverage with organisational impact, the tool aims to empower professionals to demonstrate tangible results and initiate meaningful conversations about their role in driving business success.

Looking ahead, the future of measuring impact lies in embracing innovation and adopting a more holistic approach. By integrating data analytics, artificial intelligence, and predictive modelling, creatives can gain deeper insights into the impact of their efforts and anticipate future trends. Additionally, ongoing education and professional development are essential to ensure that professionals have the skills and knowledge needed to navigate the evolving measurement landscape.

It's time for a significant mindset shift within the PR and marketing communications industry towards prioritising measurement that reflects commercial impact. We need to bridge the gap between traditional metrics and stakeholder expectations, ultimately showcasing the true value of our work in driving business outcomes.

Guest Author

Gary Preston

CEO and Co-Founder CoverageBook


Gary Preston is the CEO and Co-Founder of leading PR reporting platform, CoverageBook. Gary additionally founded AnswerThePublic, a tool that allows PR and marketing professionals to gain access to raw search insights directly from the minds of their customers, that was sold to NP Digital in 2022. Gary is dedicated to creating tools and sharing insights that allow PR and marketing professionals to demonstrate their impact and go above and beyond for their clients.

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