South West PR pros join forces to discuss how industry measures up

Over thirty public relations professionals from across the South West joined forces to discuss measurement and evaluation – a crucial part of how the PR industry proves its worth to business.

The Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) – the world’s largest PR professional body and Aro PR and Marketing – specialist in raising the profile of engineering, composites and scientific companies, co-hosted the event, which took place in Ivybridge, Devon on 15 October.

PR professionals working in public sector, hospitality, construction and engineering came together to listen to keynote speaker Ben Levine, Director and Partner at TRUE Global Intelligence (FleishmanHillard Fishburn’s research and analytics practice), talk about how to effectively evaluate and measure the effect of a PR campaign, including the use of specialist software.

Commenting on the event, Ben Levine said: “PR has a responsibility to its clients to prove its worth and that it is helping meet corporate objectives. Measurement and evaluation are as important as planning a campaign – it’s how we prove the work we do is getting results.”

Billy McKenna, managing director of Aro PR and Marketing, said: “It was a pleasure to work alongside the PRCA to host this event for South West PR practitioners. The fact the event was full booked, demonstrates the importance the industry places on evaluating the impact of PR and marketing activity.”

Emily Hall, South West Regional Coordinator for the PRCA, said: “The PRCA regularly puts on training and networking events to support professionals in the region and encourage best practice. Ben’s speech on measurement gave an insight into both paid and free tracking, providing options for marketing departments and agencies with clients of all sizes to measure the success of campaigns and identify new opportunities for growth.”

As part of the creative industries, PR and marketing has an important role to play in contributing to the South West economy.  According to the Department for Culture, Media & Sport the largest increase of jobs in the creative economy is in the South West. Here the proportion increased from 7.5 % in 2013 to 8.3 % in 2014. The South West also had the largest increase between 2011 and 2014 from 7.1 % to 8.3 %.