Tag Archives: PR

Sales: The One Metric That Really Matters


You are hired to create a social media campaign for a company. You do great work. You grow the audience. Facebook fans and Twitter followers click on links in droves to get coupons. Your Instagram contest generates hundreds of entries. But, for reasons unrelated to your efforts, sales are down 18% for the first quarter of your campaign and down 22% for the next quarter. Cuts have to be made. Will they come via staff reductions, advertising budget cuts or a trim for the social campaign? Or all three? Sales is the one metric that really matters.

Your PR client stages an event. You line up TV interviews, radio interviews and newspaper and online items. Awareness is good. A nice crowd shows up. While your client is happy that media coverage helped produce a decent turnout, his most important question is, “How much food and drink did we sell?” Sales is the one metric that really matters.

During my radio career I did many Saturday appearances at car dealers. At most such events, we had good listener turnout. But, occasionally, the number of people who came to grab a free hotdog and say hello would be disappointing. On Monday, we might say to the account executive who had the dealer’s account, “I thought we’d have more people show up Saturday. I hope the client’s not upset.” And, quite often, the account exec would say something like, “Oh, no! They sold 32 cars! It was their best Saturday in a year!” Sales is the one metric that really matters.

If you are charged with telling a client’s story, whether it be via social media, PR efforts or paid advertising, it’s in your best interest to help drive sales any way you can. Support your clever tweets, your genius PR campaign, your beautifully written radio/TV spot or print/online ad with suggestions to friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, church members, community organization members and personal social media contacts that they visit your client and buy something! Because sales is the one metric that really matters.

(This article was originally posted in June 2013.)

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I Don’t Exactly Understand…


…why organizations that promote free speech often impose serious restrictions on who can speak and what they can say within their venues.

…why certain astute social media professionals who can talk for hours about the vast differences between various social platforms… often post the same exact content on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

….why certain individuals strive to obtain a job that others would die to have, then fail to put in the effort needed to succeed in that coveted position.

…why certain users complain loudly about things they get free. (Apps, software, social media channels, etc.)

…why providers of mind-blowing technology often cannot handle the basics of human interaction with customers.

…why people who have seen few or none of the nominated films/performances care deeply about who wins at the Oscars.

…why people are not more skeptical of statistics that are freely shared and repeated but may or may not be legit.

…why, in terms of engagement, one Instagram follower is just as valuable as 22 Twitter followers. (Okay, that’s a bogus stat that I just made up. See previous line.)

…why people in a hurry in the morning will devote 10 minutes (or more) to waiting in a drive-thru lane for coffee, etc.

…why certain PR types still occasionally post articles stating that the press release is dead (or, at least, obsolete).

…why certain individuals detest the perceived biases of a respected media outlet but are quick to quote content when that outlet’s output jibes with their own beliefs.

…why I find broadcast weather reports compelling even though I already have most of that info on my phone and my laptop.

Ah, life’s mysteries.






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Celebrate Your Victories!

Ever had somebody tell you to “keep things on an even keel?” In other words, remain calm. Don’t get too high or too low. I would like to suggest the opposite course.

Enjoy your highs. And take note of your lows. When bad things happen, grieve. When good things happen, celebrate.

I have experienced more happiness than sadness in my life. But when those horrible things do occur, I know that feeling bad for a period of time will allow me to move on when the grieving is done. No, you never forget the death of a loved one, the loss of a good-paying job or the end of a marriage.

You can and must, however, continue living and accomplishing. Make the appropriate and necessary changes and get back on the horse (or whatever metaphorical thing you wish to get back onto).

During my radio career, when #1 ratings were achieved, my wife and I acknowledged success with dinner out every time. When ratings were not so good, bad feelings would settle in for a few days, but I knew when to shake the funk and look ahead.

In my PR work, when a client gets good coverage on TV, radio, in the Post-Dispatch, Business Journal or online, I celebrate. Maybe not with dinner out, but with a happy mood that lasts a day or two. When coverage does not materialize (especially when I know that the content offered is on target), I don’t just grin and bear it. I am disappointed—but only briefly. (I do know, however, not to take it personally.)

Here’s my point: It’s cool to be cool (calm and collected), as long as you do acknowledge your human emotions. You are allowed to have a crappy day every now and then. You are also allowed to be ecstatic when good things happen. Let’s strive for lots more highs than lows!



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