Perspectives on the ROI of Media Relations Publicity Efforts

May 2006 – This paper discusses several different approaches to deriving a Return-on-Investment (ROI) for the support provided by media relations publicity efforts within a marketing campaign. The primary questions discussed in the paper are whether it is possible to show that media publicity helped generate sales or other business outcomes, and can a financial return be attributed to the publicity?

In the more than three years since the Dictionary of Public Relations Measurement and Research was first released, it has become one of the most popular papers the Institute for Public Relations has ever published. Week after week, visitors to our free website (www.instituteforpr.org) download the dictionary. It has been reprinted with permission, distributed and sometimes debated at major professional and academic conferences.

The truth is that public relations teachers and practitioners traditionally have not used the same nomenclature – let alone definitions – for many central concepts of research and measurement. Increasingly, however, it is clear that we should save our creativity for program development and execution, not for the names and meanings applied to key elements of the science beneath the art of public relations.

To that end, this second edition covers an expanded number of terms, with input from a broader group of scholars and research experts. They now represent many more countries where public relations science is regularly used.

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