Guest Post: The PR Guessing Game Is Gone for Good

Brianna Taylor, PPRA member and Director of Public Relations at Garfield Group, shares the benefits of efficient data and analytics to PR. The complete post and its supporting images can be found on the Garfield Group blog.

It’s 2019. And the word of the year is “data” (don’t fact check me on that).

Today, data is as essential to modern marketers as oxygen. But this necessity isn’t always satisfied so readily. Most CMOs and their agencies know that they need data to measure the effectiveness of their programs. But when it comes to measuring PR efforts, there are often questions about what to measure and how to prove a true ROI.

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PR and Data — Together At Long Last.

According to the 2019 Global Communications Report from the USC Annenberg Center for Public Relations, big data analytics is the top skill that future PR and communications professionals will need to be successful. What’s more, “70 percent of B2B marketers would shift more of their budgets to PR if it could be related to financial impact,” reports Cision.

As a result, the PR industry has been adapting to prove the impact of their programs. It’s why at Garfield Group, we’ve begun to provide our clients with custom-tailored analytics dashboards — readily displaying the metrics that best indicate how well we’re delivering on their communications objectives.

A Portfolio of PR Metrics.

What are the most important public relations metrics? Of course the answer is those that measure success against specific KPIs or communications goals. It’s a customized view of what matters most to an organization. To provide some examples, however, we’ve outlined four of the most common data/metrics categories here:

Media Mentions

This is a simple count of the number of times a brand is mentioned in the media. Media mentions can be tracked over time to show an increase in the company’s “share of voice” in a particular industry and the traction of PR investments.

Media Impressions

Impressions are a measure of how many people “might have” seen the brand in media coverage. This includes calculating the potential audience reached with a given media mention or an entire campaign of clippings. (Note: this is not our favorite metric, because it typically inflates the sense of a brand’s true exposure. It is, however, a metric that clients frequently ask to measure.)

Content Scoring 

This is a real powerhouse metric. Content scoring is a measure of the quality of coverage a brand received. It’s a methodology to derive a true value of coverage – customized to unique goals and measured on a scale of, say, 1 to 10. Such a system might include considerations such as mentions of key messaging or talking points, whether a publication is one of your top media targets, how prominent your brand was in the coverage, and whether or not coverage was positive.

Traffic Generation

Website traffic and social media reach over time — since the beginning of a PR campaign, for example — are good barometers of the value of the PR investment. By including links in contributed pieces, we can also analyze how many website visitors are directly attributed to specific outlets or pieces of content. This measurement can help identify which sources are referring the most traffic to a website.

Everything in context.

Few marketers are throwing their entire budget into public relations alone. So which strategies best supplement investment in measurable PR?  Integrated marketing is the key — crossing traditional boundaries to combine PR with digital media, social media and beyond. (Look no further than how Oreo’s simple but fun Super Bowl tweet blew up. Seriously, look at all the coverage for “dunk in the dark.”) According to the 2019 Global Communications Report, 90% of respondents predict that the relationship between PR and marketing will become more integrated over the next five years.

As always, the key is your needs, your goals, and your vision. It’s essential to applying insightful strategies and creativity to solve problems and then do a great job of evaluating and measuring the outcomes. Only then can you understand how all forms of communications — including public relations, of course — are moving your business forward.

#PPRAMemberMonday: Ike Richman

#PPRAMember Monday_Richman

Ike Richman is the President of Ike Richman Communications. He has been a PPRA member for 27 years and was inducted into the PPRA Hall of Fame in 2005.

Twitter: @ike_richman



Ike Richman Communications is a firm that specializes in Public Relations, Media Relations, and Crisis Communications for the Live Sports and Entertainment industry. 

Prior to opening his own communications firm, Richman spent nearly 29 years with Comcast-Spectacor, specializing in Public Relations, Media Relations and Crisis Communications. During his nearly three-decade career, he managed all external communications for the company’s three businesses – the Philadelphia Flyers, the Wells Fargo Center and Spectra. He is well established in creating and delivering important and impactful business messages locally, regionally, nationally, and throughout the sports and entertainment industry.

PPRA: Who are your clients and what projects are you working on right now?

IR: My current clients include Live Nation Philadelphia, Oak View Group Facilities, ABC-TV’s hit comedy, The Goldbergs, Healthy Kids Running Series, Still Strong Foundation, National Night Out and the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.

PPRA: What is your favorite part of your job?

IR: Helping tell stories for my clients; particularly ones that help them grow their business or brand.

PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?

IR: Working closely with Live Nation Philadelphia in helping open The Met Philadelphia.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?

IR: No job is too small and no job is too big. 

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

IR: Shawshank Redemption

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

IR: There are so many great spots around our city. I love being on Kelly Drive or in a Wawa.

PPRA: If you weren’t in PR, what profession do you see yourself in and why?

IR: Game show host!

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

IR: Seitan Wings at Adobe Cafe 

Between You and MEdia… with Aunyea Lachelle

As PR professionals, we all know the importance of building meaningful relationships with members of the media – reporters, producers, assignment editors, etc. But how does that happen, and where do you start? 

In this new section of the PPRA blog, PPRA members will share insight, tips and tricks, and fun facts learned from members of the media through informal interviews. You won’t have to wait for our “Media Mingle” or “Editors Panel” to get your tough questions answered and connect with the media. Our goal with this blog section is to continue engagement with our media counterparts in an informative and fun manner. So, between you and me – enjoy!

It’s rare that a Philadelphia TV news station launches a new program that focuses on the positive things to see and do in Philadelphia. But that’s what NBC10 did last month with the launch of “Philly Live,” which is in partnership with Visit Philly. The digital-first show, which airs Monday through Friday at 11:45 a.m., is hosted by Aunyea Lachelle, who is new to NBC10 but not to Philadelphia. The Northeast Philly native sat down with Bellevue Communications’ Kareen Preble to provide some insight into the new show. The following has been edited for clarity and brevity. Photo courtesy of NBC10.


Aunyea Lachelle is the host of NBC10’s Philly Live.

How did you get started as a journalist?

I majored in communications at West Chester [University] and I was also a radio board operator and radio host at West Chester as well for 3-4 years, so I did television and radio.”

Between you and me, what’s your favorite aspect of your job?

“Everything that I get to do. I’m from Philly, born and raised. But I’m still discovering new things that I didn’t know existed in this town. I love the fact that I get to be myself, and I like to say to the viewers all the time – look, I’m your homegirl….I know the city just like you do, but I’m also curious about the city just like you are. I’m introducing our viewers to new things that they might not have known, but I’m also experiencing those things myself so that I can give them that full experience when they watch the show. I never knew you could take a flying trapeze class in Philly, but I did it and I’m terrified of heights! So that goes to show how committed I am to this show and to our viewers to give them the best Philly experience possible. I mean I get to meet celebrities like Billie Jean King and get an exclusive tennis lesson with her. I played foosball with Brian Westbrook. We’ve covered restaurant week, fashion week. So, I love that I just get to showcase my personality and have a great time on the show. It’s something I get to have fun with.”

What inspired you to get into this business?

“A lot of things inspired me. I can’t credit it to just one thing. My family was one. I come from a very Christian family, [they] founded Porter’s Daycare and Educational Center, which is a nonprofit daycare and elementary school that’s been open for nearly 40 years now. They were a huge inspiration to me because I realized that people that do the work that they do and that people who work in nonprofits in general don’t get enough buzz and attention, they don’t get the credit and recognition that they deserve. So part of [my inspiration] was wanting to tell those stories. Another part of it was that I’ve always been a creative person and I’ve always been interested in the arts and the performing arts, especially with music. I used to play and sing at coffee shops in college, act in high school plays so I’ve always had a passion for the arts and as I got older, it transpired into broadcast television.”

What advice would you give PR professionals looking to pitch you?

“I know PR pros tend to put their clients first, which is great because that’s your job and that’s why you’re great at it. However, my advice when reaching out to us is to focus on the viewer whenever you’re sending a pitch. Attack it from the viewer’s perspective, and think of what they would like to see, what they would like to hear and the way they would like the story to be told.

We’ve worked with tons and tons of PR and we’re so happy that they are excited about this show and that they have clientele that would be perfect for this show. As far as what we’re looking for, it’s any and everything that there is to do and see, and it’s not just Philly, but it’s also the Del Valley and the whole Southeastern Pennsylvania region that we’re covering, as well as parts of New Jersey, so it really is a tri-state area show. I like to describe it as Philly is the heartbeat and we connect to all the other cities and our surrounding regions as well.”

You’ve only been doing Philly Live since September, but has there been a highlight so far?

“You know I’m one of those people where every project I take on becomes my baby and so, almost every story that I take on becomes my baby and I become really passionate about telling the story the right way. It wouldn’t be fair to pinpoint one specific segment, however, as far as my favorites… I mean, the restaurant segments, I love, because I’m a huge foodie. Blume was probably one of my favorite restaurants that we covered; it’s super instagrammable and on trend with flowers and flower-themed cocktails. Fashion week was really fun. I love featuring and working with local people, local business owners. We get to feature some nonprofits as well with our live interviews, so I would love to work with more nonprofits and do more community-based stories, which I think is something that we’re definitely going to be highlighting very soon.”

Best way to pitch Aunyea for Philly Live:

#PPRA Member Monday – Melissa Squarcia Fordyce

#PPRAMember Monday_Fordyce

Melissa Fordyce joined the Philadelphia Foundation in September as their Executive Director, Marketing & Communications. She has been a member of PPRA for five years and serves on our board of directors.




Melissa Fordyce serves as Executive Director, Marketing and Communications for the Philadelphia Foundation. In this capacity she works to create, oversee and implement short-and long-term brand and marketing strategies and disciplines that elevate public understanding of the Philadelphia Foundation’s work as the region’s oldest and largest community foundation.

Having dedicated more than a decade of her career to nonprofit communications, Melissa previously served as the Director of Communications for Presby’s Inspired Life. Prior to that, she spent seven years with Catholic Leadership Institute. Melissa’s early career began in television news as an assignment editor for NBC10 in Philadelphia.

An adjunct professor at Temple University teaching nonprofit communications, Melissa also serves on the Board of the Philadelphia Public Relations Association (PPRA) and Villanova Communications Affinity Network (VCAN). She is a 2004 graduate of Villanova University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Strategic Public Relations from George Washington University.

PPRA: What projects are you working on right now?

MF: Currently, the Philadelphia Foundation is preparing to host On the Table Philly on October 17. It is a forum designed to elevate civic conversation, foster new relationships and create a unifying experience. Anyone can host and it’s a prime opportunity to give a voice to issues that matter to you. You can register on our website.

PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?
MF: Everyday I walk into my office and I see this breathtaking view of the city and beyond and I say to myself “I am so grateful to be here. I get to serve all of you.” The work that we do at the Philadelphia Foundation touches every inch and aspect of greater Philadelphia and the absolute favorite part of my job is knowing that what I do today, is the change I get to see out my window tomorrow.

PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?

MF: I started this new role with the Philadelphia Foundation in September. Personally, it was an accomplishment to get here. It is an honor to serve greater Philadelphia in this capacity. And I am grateful that the leadership of the Philadelphia Foundation saw the potential in me to elevate their mission to a new level.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?

MF: Network. Network and Network. That’s three, but I think you can tell how important I think it is! There is no right or wrong way to do it as long as you are committed to making and maintaining a circle of professional influence. It will pay off tenfold — I promise!

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

MF: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. I don’t know that I could read it over and over because it’s insanely long! However, its an amazing TRUE story about the power of forgiveness, perseverance and the resiliency of the human spirit. The story inspires me again and again.

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

MF: I’m a Jersey Girl! And proud of it. But if I had to pick a favorite spot or neighborhood I would have to say South Philly. I have wonderful childhood memories of eating Pop’s Water Ice on my Aunt’s front stoop as we watched the fireworks show from the Vet.

PPRA: If you weren’t in PR, what profession do you see yourself in and why?

MF: I had always thought it would be fascinating to be a presidential speechwriter. There is just something about the way in which the (written) and spoken word can captivate people that is awe-inspiring to me.

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

MF: Soft Pretzel w/Spicy Mustard. Hands down the best. snack. ever! Also pairs well with Italian Ice!

#PPRA Member Monday – Samantha Byles

#PPRAMember Monday_Byles

Samantha Byles is a Senior Account Executive with Bellevue Communications Group and has been a member of PPRA for three years.



Originally from Boston, Samantha moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University and ended up staying. She graduated from Temple in 2013 with a news journalism degree, and worked with a company that produced hyper-local magazines nationwide before jumping into PR with a local engineering firm.

PPRA: What projects are you working on right now?

SB: I work with both nonprofit and for-profit clients on everything from traditional PR – press releases, media advisories, media relations – to the more general Communications/Marketing items like social media, content creation, and public affairs. A majority of my efforts nowadays are focused on a wireless infrastructure client that is looking to raise their brand awareness in Philadelphia, which translates to introductory meetings with leaders in the city, networking, and finding speaking/event opportunities.

PPRA: What is the favorite part of your job?

SB: The discovery process – working with my clients before the event or before the press release to find the right story to share. I like to think of it as a puzzle, and you’re constantly going through each of the pieces to see what fits and completes the bigger picture.

PPRA: What was your latest and greatest accomplishment at your job?

SB: In May, I worked with the wireless infrastructure client to submit and plan a panel event for PHL Tech Week. Once we got approval for the event, I coordinated all logistics and materials for it – working with the venue, selecting, confirming, and prepping the panelists, the Powerpoint presentation, Eventbrite management, etc. It was a lot of work, but it was a project that I could own and it turned out to be a great event with about 35 attendees and a handful of valuable relationships for the client.

PPRA: What one piece of advice would you give to your fellow PR pros?

SB: Enjoy it! It’s very easy to get discouraged when you don’t get the desired coverage or have to defend a strategy to a stubborn client. When that happens, take a step back, and think of 1 thing in the process that went right, even if it was just a catchy headline, and 1 thing that you could actually change if you tried. This process I think allows you to stay positive while thinking about how you can improve in a realistic way.

PPRA: What book or movie could you read or watch again and again?

SB: Any of the Harry Potter movies – the books are good, but all the visual aspects in the movie are incredible, especially if you can see it in 4K.

PPRA: What’s your favorite spot in Philly?

SB: Dilworth Park – Cliche, I know, but I use SEPTA a lot as a commuter, so while I’m waiting for the regional rail or the next El, I like to sit outside at Dilworth Park and people watch. Between the fountain, Christmas Village, and other attractions, there’s always something to happily distract you.

PPRA: If you weren’t in PR, what profession do you see yourself in and why?

SB: Event or meeting planning – I like the organizational aspect of it and the ability to still be surrounded by people.

PPRA: Favorite Philly Food?

SB: Philly Pretzel, with spicy mustard.