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The Proof is in the Pudding: Results are What Count


Considering the current economic climate, marketers, and specifically, public relations directors are requested more and more to prove the VALUE of their work. So how does one news release go from its natural state as a plain old Word document to a valued part of your communications arsenal? The Proof is in the Pudding.

Unlike Bill Cosby’s “Instant” JELL-O Pudding, results don’t come together in 5 minutes. But with a little research and a plan for calculating the coverage, you could be headed in the right direction.

When you buy an ad in a publication, the outlet provides impressions figures, target audience types and a big fat bill on your desk. When you send a press release or public relations outreach to a publication you don’t get the big bill, but you also don’t get the guarantee that the piece will run. (That is why we at BBR Creative’s PR Department advocate only distributing the most newsworthy stories — but, that’s for another blog entry.)

So your company’s news was featured on the cover of Time Magazine, Oprah and then your local news to top it all off. So what is that worth? There are two ways you get value out of PR outreach:



Impressions: The number of people an ad reaches in a publication is often the same, if not more, than the editorial will reach in that same outlet. For example: The New Orleans Times Picayune (1 Column x 2”) has 207,000 impressions.

Value: The equivalent of placing an ad of the same or similar size in the publication times a multiplier. As you know, reading an article in a newspaper is more believable to the reader than an ad placed in the same publication. For this reason the value of PR placement is calculated from anywhere between two to 10 times the cost of placing an ad of the same size. For example: The same ad mentioned above would cost $207.20 for placement thus have a PR value of $621.60 (using a 3 time multiplier). Note that there has not been an industry-wide strategy for quantifying ROI in PR, but this is the most-used strategy.


Impact/Return on Engagement: Media outreach adds valuable, albeit unquantifiable, assets to your marketing mix. A few that deserve recognition:


• Stronger media relations for future outreach
• Brand awareness
• Sales team outreach
• Employee pride and inter-office communication
• Additional hits for your social media page, website, or phone calls

To create a strategic public relations plan for your company with a great return on your investment please contact BBR’s PR Director Andree Gonsoulin at 337.233.1515 or [email protected]

P.S. The phrase originated as “the proof of the pudding is in the eating.” It means that the true value or quality of something can only be judged when it’s put to use. According to Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, the phrase dates back to at least 1615 when Miguel de Cervantes published Don Quixote.