A PR Audit: A Major Point of Differentiation
Amongst a crowded landscape, supporters have myriad options for which NPO’s to support. Beyond the causes they represent, they need to display the heart and soul of their organization: their brand. The strength of a brand is a crucial point of differentiation, and a PR audit is critical to examine the external conversations being had that shape the perceptions stakeholders have towards an organization. By understanding these attitudes, an organization can employ proactive measures to drastically improve its reputation, identify hidden opportunities and points of differentiation, preempt potential threats and overcome any misunderstandings and negative sentiments. A brand study is a general indicator as to what people are thinking about an organization, but a PR audit is a forensic analysis regarding what people are saying. Any organization, big or small, that wants to uniquely differentiate itself can benefit from a PR audit and chart a precise course to future prosperity.
Components of a PR Audit
The foundation for any successful PR audit begins with its stakeholders. Below is an outline highlighting the importance of an audit with respect to stakeholders and the various tools that could be used to ascertain their attitudes.
Employees: Can serve as either your best or worst marketing/branding agents and those with positive attitudes are happier, retained easier, work harder and are likely to share their positive views externally. Those that do not can perpetuate negative sentiments internally and externally, causing ongoing reputational damage.
Members/Donors: Important for an organization to understand why an entity chooses to support one NPO over the other. Members/donors need to have confidence in the recipients of their support and realizing the reasons why they are critical for survival and future growth.
Media: How an organization is presented in the media impacts everyone, internally and externally. Understanding how, when, and where an organization appears in the media, as well as the context, provides insights that can be used strategically in the development of a media plan that can augment existing positive sentiments and overcome misinformation or altering a negative tone trajectory.
Social Media Analysis: Social media can modify an organization’s public perception in ways that are still being discovered, good and bad. Identifying the content, comments, responses, posts and reposts offers a degree of lucidity organizations can leverage to better control the conversations to their benefit.
Relative to the organization’s objectives, budget and other factors, focus groups, questionnaires, website and marketing content analysis, surveys, interviews and historical tone analysis are vehicles that can be used to ascertain remarkably valuable insights. Any of the above can be selected a la carte and the information garnered can serve as a basis for a comprehensive strategic plan with recommendations for enhancing existing positive attitudes, rectifying negative ones, capitalizing on strengths and points of differentiation and flushing out business opportunities. The high degree of clarity an audit offers gives NPO’s the confidence to know what the world is really saying about them. Combined with a comprehensive strategic plan, they can continue improving their image and focus on doing the great work they do to make the world a better place for all of us.
1st Degree can help you find out what other people are saying about your organization or brand. Reach out to our team to schedule your Public Relations audit. Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!