Holmes Report Blog

The Holmes Report blog focuses on news and issues of interest to public relations professionals. Our main site can be found at www.holmesreport.com.

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Disconnect: Peter Verrengia of Fleishman Hillard, talking about evaluation--and presenting the closest thing to the Holy Grail I have ever seen--tells a sad story.

One of the things his approach to evaluation demands is lots of data, and one of his PR clients was looking for employee turnover data, in an attempt to discover a link between employee communications messages and employee loyalty. The data took a while to gather, he says, because the human resources department couldn't figure out why PR (or corporate comms) people would want it.

Has the PR function become so disconnected from the goals and objectives of the business that our peers within an organization can't understand why we would want business data? Apparently so. The idea that PR people might see -- or hope to discover -- a link between their activity and a strategic bottom-line business objective, clearly sounds pretty far fetched to a lot of people.

And I can't help thinking that this company was not exceptional in this regard. And it's not that the HR people didn't understand PR; it's more likely that they understood it -- at least the way it is typically operated -- too well.

5 Comments:

  • At 10:08 AM, Blogger Leo Bottary said…

    It isn't that PR asked for it, it's that anyone would ask for it. I think in most organizations any other department would have run into the same problem. The sharing of information can be a problem in many organizations. Until people in large organizations can grasp the concept that they're all on the same team, this isn't going to change anytime soon.

     
  • At 10:18 AM, Anonymous public relations said…

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  • At 6:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This doesn't surprise me at all. Like many other professional media analysis companies we have actively proselytised the need for joined up measurement for many years. The Corporate comms leadership at one of our global clients, some 4 years ago set themselves the goal of becoming a "professional business partner", and to that end, we sought to share the media analysis data that we generated for them, with their marketing effectiveness and consumer insights teams. 4 years in, and the silos are as impregnable as ever. Despite the best efforts of organisations like the IPR and its Commission on Measurement in the States, and AMEC in Europe, we find that PR is still all too often seen by other marketing and management functions as having little or no accountability or performance measurement tools in place. That's why data requests from PR are given such low priority by other functions...

     
  • At 3:11 PM, Blogger FredSox49 said…

    There could be several reasons why this happened. The PR people may not have clearly articulated the goals of the program. More likely, the HR person still thought of this type of communication as employee picnic news rather than a vehicle for presenting the company's strategies and objectives.

     
  • At 2:10 PM, Anonymous PENNY STOCK INVESTMENTS said…

    Great news

     

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