MINNEAPOLIS, December 14—Historically, clients have been reluctant to spend the additional cash needed to build meaningful measurement into public relations programming. With the economy in retreat, this might not seem like the time to reverse that position, but more than ever clients need to justify the investment they are making, which could make this an ideal time for Twin Cities PR firm LaBreche Murray to introduce its new measurement product, PRove.
“We think the timing is good,” says agency president Beth LaBreche. “Many companies are organized to gather the relevant sales data already, and for them it’s just a matter of applying those data to the work we’re doing in PR. Other clients are looking for help in showing their own supervisors what’s effective.” She says the product has received a warm welcome from clients, particularly 3M, which has been implementing six sigma processes in its own operations and wants to be able measure all aspects of its business.
PRove, which is based on measurement approaches the firm has been taking since 1990, ties both client and agency to a strategic public relations approach that can be tracked against specific business priorities. According to LaBreche, it can measure simple results, such as revenue, as well as complex outcomes, such as changes in attitude among mass consumer markets.
“From experience, LaBreche Murray understands the time, money and effort companies spend trying to demonstrate the value of seemingly intangible public relations results,” says LaBreche. “PRove allows companies—from start-ups to the most sophisticated marketers—to translate our services into analysis that can be understood by their executives, board members and others who want the focus to be on the bottom line.”
Even if companies don’t have the money to invest in measurement, PRove can provide value, because it helps companies plan their public relations efforts more strategically in the beginning, and “it has served its purpose even if all it leads to is a more thoughtful discussion about what the real goals of the program ought to be,” says LaBreche.
PRove is the fourth branded product unveiled by LaBreche Murray in the past two years. Others include PRocast, a professional webcasting product; PResence, a trade show media relations offering; and PRopel, a strategic communications process for start-ups.
Additionally this week, LaBreche Murray Public Relations announced an exclusive partnership with Deephaven Financial Group, a Twin Cities-based investor relations firm. The partnership enhances the IR practice LaBreche Murray introduced in October 2000.
“We’re committed to offering investor relations to our clients through this exclusive partnership,” says LaBreche.  “Deephaven’s Wall Street roots allow us to provide clients with complete communications solutions. While both PR and IR fall under the communications umbrella, IR requires in-depth understanding and contacts within the financial world—we didn’t simply want to train PR people to be IR people. We wanted to offer our clients counselors who have been on the other side—the investors’ side.”