Pragya Dubey, Vice President of Global Services & Media Analytics at Agility PR Solutions could have been an astrophysicist. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Mumbai, Pragya had a decision to make: pursue an MBA or pursue an MSc in astrophysics. “I chose the MBA,” says Pragya. After completing the program, she joined one of India’s leading PR agencies where she promptly fell in love with PR. “It was very exciting. Every day was different.”
Though she may not have ended up pursuing science any further, Pragya thinks it gave her a good grounding for her PR career. “Being a science student, it makes you curious, which is the biggest gift anyone can have. The more questions you ask, the smarter you become, is my motto.” It’s a motto that serves Pragya and her team well as they help Agility clients navigate the complex media landscape and measure the impact of their work.
Pragya’s approach with clients begins by determining where they are in their measurement journeys. “It’s a wide spectrum,” says Pragya. “Some people are just dipping their toes in, some are in the middle, and some are at a very advanced level. But no matter where you are in your measurement journey, there’s a next step forward.”
Pragya says the goal of a measurement program is twofold: to inform and improve your strategy through feedback, and to connect PR and communications outcomes to business objectives. A measurement program is not about proving PR’s value. “That’s not what PR professionals are trying to do. Their goal is to help create programs and activities and execute strategies that further the business goals. When they do that, the success of the PR team is self-evident.”
Even so, measuring results can be difficult. PR often seems to fall behind other departments, like marketing and sales that have, “the hot stats to prove the volume or the type or the quality of the work that they are doing.”
Adding to this challenge is the fact that PR professionals are time poor. “There’s constant demand and pressure to respond in a timely way in today’s world,” says Pragya. “In PR it is challenging to find time to collaborate on a measurement program, so, it’s something that gets pushed to the last. But if you want to have a successful program, there needs to be a constant exchange of information.”
If Pragya could have a magic wish, it would be to grant PR professionals the time they need to prioritize these types of collaboration, because “what you will get out of it is going to be meaningful.”