5 reports you need to prove ROI
In order for comms teams to prove ROI and justify their existence, press outreach, influencer relations and social media activity must be analysed; just as other activities in an organisation are monitored. The c-suite now expects us to speak in their language – monetary value. In the past this required a lot of number crunching, fortunately, it has since become a lot easier to prove ROI of our campaigns!
Software programmes and business intelligence tools now help us extract the right data to support reports. Industry leading tools are often based on advanced AI models that help us steer through the noise and find the right insights amongst large amounts of data.
So how can the correct KPIs help us prove ROI? In addition to saving us time by automating analysis, Media Intelligence tools such as Meltwater can also automatically create professional reports so you can quickly prove the true business value of your work.
Media Intelligence platforms often contain visual dashboards (showcasing live movements of KPIs such as media exposure, geographic spread, top influencers and trending themes). It’s simple to download raw data as well as visual reports. Armed with data like this, communicators are armed to explain the company’s PR and communication development in a data-driven way – exactly as management and stakeholders like it!
Should I consider the help of an external consultant?
Before you dive into what your reports should contain, consider whether you need external support to structure your measurement method. Whether you want to increase the quantity or quality of an existing KPI or simply start measurement, a consultant with measurement and reporting capabilities can guide you to ensure you’re using the most relevant insights. This can help you to:
- Customise your media performance measurement to match your organisation’s business goals
- Secure a concrete measurement of ROI from PR and social media
- Help to build a strong foundation for a higher budget going forward
Keeping track of the company’s overall strategy while searching for critical business data can be challenging, especially when there are many different KPIs, platforms and measurement methods involved. Presenting performance and goals in a professional manner also requires time. Expert assistance can create a structured measurement method that fits your company’s existing KPIs. With a specific setup for data collection and KPIs, it’s also easier to compile and present reports on a continuous basis, giving more time to strategy and daily tasks.
Once you’ve identified the right business goals and KPIs, you’re ready to decide which kind of reporting framework is the best measurement method.
A comprehensive report is crucial if you’re to make better and more informed data-driven decisions. And you don’t have to wait until the year is over to start the analysis. Perhaps you need insights at shorter intervals to check how a campaign is going rather than how it went.
The important point here is to find a report that fits what you’re trying to measure and what your goal is. With that being said, here are 5 common reports our clients usually opt for.
1. Monthly reports
Target audience: Your boss and potentially also their boss
With monthly reports, you have the ability to discover if you’re on the right track with numbers and KPIs. If an activity exceeds your expectations, you have a chance to rethink your plans and resources to repeat for further success. If your recent activities have not resulted in a positive trend, you can also make adjustments your current setup to improve. With a monthly report, you have the opportunity to move the needle as you go.
2. Quarterly reports
Target Audience: VP, Communications Director or CMO (potentially also CEO)
Think of monthly reports as `sampling’ and quarterly reports as a representation of the final results. Here you’re not only able to spot trends, but present and defend your results. Does your KPI contribute to real business value? An effective quarterly report will be able to prove ROI, as well as how each and every £ is used and why.
3. Annual reports
Audience: CMO, CEO, Board of Directors, Stakeholders
At the end of each financial year, the Executive Board decides on the next year’s budget. Your annual report can provide a basis for a long-term strategy and thus affect their decisions. This is your time to justify the use of resources and the right tools. In addition, an annual report can also form the basis for the expected return, as well as a target based on given resources.
4. Campaign reports
Audience: Same as monthly or quarterly reports, depending on the size of the campaign
Campaigns usually have very specific goals. This could, for example, be the launch of a new product, expansion into a new market or branding of a specific product, event or just the company itself. With a campaign report, it is possible to measure the effect of a particular activity based on a specific goal.
5. Reputation reports
Target audience: Depends on the scope and background of the situation. If a crisis was to develop it would be most stakeholders, if its general brand reputation it’s most likely to be your boss
A crisis can ruin the reputation of a brand if it’s not detected and handled on time. The PR and communication teams have an vital role when it comes to dealing with a crisis. They’ll be focusing on turning the situation and conversation into something positive, as well as finding Influencers who can speak of the company in a more positive light. Therefore, it is incredibly important that the communication department’s role in managing this activity is documented for management.
Analysing and reporting the conversation and its development is crucial day by day, minute by minute. This is when real-time Media Intelligence Dashboards come in handy, in particular as the crisis unfolds. However, a full report on a crisis or attempt to turn a reputation is very important in order to understand and prove how the company’s brand is perceived today.
Elements and reporting metrics
In addition to the KPIs identified as critical to measure when it comes to your PR and business goals, we’ve also identified 3 key elements that can raise the quality of your media reports, as well as prove ROI.
Whether you work with monthly, quarterly or yearly reporting, an executive summary shouldn’t be overlooked. The executive summary indicates how your activities evolve over time, as well as giving an overview of the most relevant KPIs. Your executive summary should be sharp and concise detailing KPIs insights to help stakeholders evaluate activities.
Benchmark analysis is particularly important in quarterly and annual reports. It allows you to compare your activities and performance with previous periods – but also against competitors or other departments/product lines internally. The example below shows a Share-of-Voice analysis based on reach and media exposure.
An annual report can, amongst other things, be used to emphasise the company’s position in the industry (eg by SOV, engagement, etc.), as well as predict trends and rank the business based on several factors such as volume and sentiment. Use data and insights for an entire year and combine it with intelligent media searches and real-time data to predict trends and be at the forefront of competitors. This will help solidify your positioning as a thought leader.
Use the Meltwater Media Intelligence Platform to prove ROI
At Meltwater, we invest in AI and development of intelligence technologies to offer the best possible auto-generated dashboards, analyses and reports. With AI-driven analysis on top of our huge amounts of data, companies are able to prove ROI.
Do you want a deeper insight into how our analysis options look? Fill out the form below and we’ll offer a free consultative call on how we can help you with reporting and analysis: