As marketing organizations struggle to better understand and justify their role and purpose, there are a limited amount of tools available to succinctly measure marketing’s and public relations’ effectiveness. Many businesses are conducting Marketing and Public Relations Audits to gain new insight into their productivity and effectiveness. Audits can be a very formal process (conducted by an outside firm) or a more informal process (facilitated by an organizational leader). Either way, audits need to be objective and comprehensive. Marketing and Public Relations Audits thoroughly examine and evaluate marketing and communications practices and results. They offer a baseline for performance measurement and a framework for effective future planning.
Marketing and Public Relations Audits help organizations identify their most urgent marketing and communications needs. It can be a time-consuming operation, but the information gained can provide invaluable insight and provide strategic direction. The audit includes a comprehensive review of the company’s marketing and public relations environment, communications objectives, business strategies and tactical activities. The audit identifies operational strengths and weaknesses and recommends changes to the company’s marketing and public relations programs. Each Marketing and Public Relations Audit is unique to the individual organization. The audit should serve as a basis of discussion and review and not necessarily be a definitive action plan.
The primary benefits of conducting an audit include: new learnings and measurement for past and future successes; a quantitative benchmark for future evaluative studies; and a fair and consistent appraisal of past and future performance. Most importantly, audits can serve as an important basis for annual marketing and public relations plans.
When an organization cuts marketing and public relations spending, it cuts the one function whose sole purpose is to increase business! By engaging in an audit process, organizations can better assess the functionality and effectiveness of their marketing and public relations departments. The marketing and public relations audit becomes an essential tool for business success.