Emphasis on PR can help universities address budget constraints

 

You don’t need a degree in Maths to understand the intense cost pressures facing universities. It’s a challenging time for internal communication teams, facing media scrutiny of the sector’s finances on top of other pressures.

Inevitably, support function expenses come under the spotlight when rising costs of service delivery collide with funding and student recruitment challenges. Now is the time to safeguard PR spend, by voluntarily seeking ways to maximise budgets before the CFO comes looking for savings. Having a compelling story about effectiveness and being able to speak the language executives understand has never been more important. Communications teams need to frame their contribution in terms of outcomes and demonstrate strong business awareness.

Few people appreciate the true power of media coverage within the marketing mix. Traditional media evaluation struggles to tell a watertight story about the effectiveness of PR because it focuses on outputs and volume of coverage, instead of audience impact. Metricomm helps universities to defend their communication investment by:

  • gaining a clearer understanding of how communication is affecting audience perceptions and behaviour (e.g. Google search and website visits)
  • accessing a level of competitor benchmarking which was previously unaffordable
  • identifying gaps and weaknesses in online media positioning
  • providing robust and consistent measurement data to feed into organisational KPIs
  • demonstrating which named media are delivering results for the university.

Properly understanding effectiveness and results allows resources and money to be dynamically reassigned during planning, so the communications department can focus on the activities that make a difference. Knowing what to prioritise for maximum audience impact will lead to better ROI and improved team utilisation. Email us for a tailored quote for one-off report, with prices starting at £1,250, or a programme of regular reporting hello@metricomm.com

For universities on really tight budgets, the media evaluation spend could be made to work harder by using Quantum, an affordable solution which provides a rich source of data points about effectiveness. Moving away from monitoring every clipping to analysis of what is working can have an immediate effect on productivity and impact. Every month, Quantum reveals how the outcomes of your media coverage compare to a selected competitor set, for example the Russell Group or New Universities. These insights include:

  • monthly data and annual trends for size of audience, volume of Google search and other key performance indicators
  • ranking of the named media that are producing the best outcomes
  • the topics, themes and issues that are getting the audience’s attention
  • the articles that have had the biggest impact on perceptions and behaviour

Quantum is designed to provide actionable information to help your team do the best possible job while delivering value for money. The solution is currently available to universities for the introductory price of £300 per month for a three-month trial period. If you can already hear the CFO’s footsteps in the corridor, drop us a line hello@metricomm.com or complete the form below and we’ll be in touch.