The PR industry is as competitive as ever, and it looks as if 2019 will be no exception. The battle to stand out from competitors continues, and the best way to get noticed is to deliver exactly
what your clients need.
In PR, reporting is a vital tool used to help clients understand
their media coverage. As the PR specialist, you need to ensure that your reports directly address your clients’ needs – and are presented in a way that makes their life easier.Let’s see how you can take your reporting to the next level: 1. Identify your clients’ needs
First and foremost, make sure that both you and your clients agree on the expectations in advance. This could include details such as the pricing structure, what they hope to get out of their reports, the frequency of the reporting and so on.
In order to provide valuable reports to clients, you need to identify and understand
their needs and wants. This involves getting to know your clients a bit better.
Make sure you can answer the following questions:
- What does my client want to achieve?
- What challenges does my client face?
- What can I do to make my client’s job easier?
It’s also important to know your clients’ preferences when it comes to communication and reporting so that you’ll know how to contact them and how often they want to receive reports.
The best way to get to know your clients is by getting in touch with them on a regular basis. Be accessible to them by taking their calls, responding to emails timeously or by meeting them in person.
Take the time to visit their website or blog to understand the ins and outs of what it is that they do. Showing your clients that you have made an effort to understand their particular needs and wants will prove to them that you've gone the extra mile.2. Choose the right reporting metrics
When it comes to reporting, every client has a different measure of success. Show clients that you have been listening to them by putting together a tailored report that aligns the reporting metrics to their specific business objectives.
For example, if a client is looking to get their message out to as many people as possible, then their reports will need to focus on clip volumes, circulation and reach, which will show them how much coverage they have received and if they are on the right track in terms of meeting their goals.
However, if reputation is important to them, including a sentiment analysis of their media coverage would be best because it would give them an idea of how their brand is being perceived by the media.
If your client is hosting an event or product launch, and the media coverage is image heavy, then being able to showcase their clips visually will be more impactful. It would also be beneficial for the client to see a comparison between the product’s current and past campaign or event’s performance.
Clients that already receive a large amount of coverage probably won't be interested in the number of media clippings they receive. Rather, they'll be focussed on the trends and discussions surrounding their brand in the media.
Remember to ensure that every metric you include in your report is tied to a business objective that your client wants to achieve.3. Automate as much as possible
Manually compiling reports for clients can take tons of time, and this can affect your ability to complete other tasks in a timely manner. Rather use a tool that can automatically create your reports so that you don’t have to do it yourself.
Finding a tool that can automate reports for clients will also prove useful when you are asked to pull a report at a moment’s notice. Another benefit of scheduling automated reports is that you’ll never let a client down by delivering a report late, but rather, you’ll impress them with your efficiency.
Delivering reports to your clients on a regular basis will also give you a chance to touch base with your clients. This keeps everyone on the same page and helps ensure that expectations from both parties are still being met.
Another way to help automate your reporting process is to create a reusable template that is customised to each client’s need. This means that you only have to compile one template and then you can reuse it as many times as you want. This will not only streamline your reporting process but will also help to standardise your reports. 4. Stand out with unique reports
Set yourself apart from other agencies by providing valuable, insightful reports that are presented in a way that differentiates you from competitors.
Personalise your clients’ reports to reflect their corporate image by adding their logo, using their brand colours, fonts and images. Presenting a report that looks and feels like their brand will show them that you have paid great attention to their brand identity and style.
Another way to get your reports to stand out is to present your clients’ data visually, using an interactive online dashboard or other visualisation tools. Reports that include visual solutions will help make the data more accessible and easier to understand for the client.
Media monitoring providers will often have an online dashboard that turns mountains of data into actionable insights. This allows your clients to visualise strategic data at a glance.
Data visualisation tools that you could include in your reports range from infographics and detailed pie charts to bar and sparkline graphs. This type of graph is great for illustrating a single media trend in your client’s coverage.
Rather than taking your clients through masses of numbers and text, having their data visualised can often make it easier for them to spot issues that need attention. The quicker they can spot issues, the quicker they can attend to them. Often, having data displayed visually can also help clients find insights that they might not have noticed in an ordinary, linear report.