It is well known that public relations is a critical component of your brand as it can build trust with your target audience. PR is said to be 90 percent more effective than direct advertising, and can ultimately bolster your marketing efforts. For small businesses, a great PR campaign can not only rouse awareness about your company, it can also enhance website traffic and generate new leads. Of course, these advantages are likewise true for companies of all sizes, provided that they have capable workers at the helm. One such role that you’ll find beneficial in your brand’s PR team is a project manager.
Equipped with a robust set of communication and organizational skills, as well as a strong ability to multitask, a project manager helps oversee a campaign’s completion and provides the necessary support to ensure that it can be implemented successfully.
In this article, we’ll provide a more in-depth discussion on why project managers are essential for your PR team.
They can effectively coordinate departmental communication
As shared by a 2022 report published by Mynewsdesk, PR professionals work with other departments to a very large extent. In fact, 61 percent of those surveyed stated that collaboration between departments like internal communications, marketing, and sales has increased in the last year. In addition, 72 percent of PR professionals believe that further integration between departments will continue this year.
It’s evident that open communication between your PR team and other departments is necessary to complete and implement a campaign. That said, project managers play a vital role in ensuring the coordination of departmental communication. Rather than having different PR employees approach various team managers for feedback, a project manager can streamline queries about multiple projects and accelerate the decision-making time by corresponding with key upper management executives.
They can optimize corporate processes
More often than not, a successful PR campaign hinges on the positive reception of its target audience. However, the referenced Mynewsdesk report points out that today’s consumers are more critical of brands—believing that over half of brands aren’t trustworthy. Given this kind of sentiment, the report discusses how PR teams should create a larger budget and streamline processes to overcome challenges adeptly. This is where a project manager will prove advantageous to your team. An article by LHH highlights how project managers are skilled in creating budgets and setting targets. Typically, these professionals assign specific project tasks to employees, all while adjusting and managing detailed schedules throughout the duration of your campaign.
Now, because they’re tasked with controlling the schedule, they can evaluate recurring tasks and failures throughout the project lifecycle, and consequently, improve the workflow. For instance, they may advise utilizing chat platforms like Microsoft Teams or Slack to distribute important updates among team members. Apart from that, if you’re planning on adopting a larger budget for your future campaigns, or otherwise need extra financing on your current ones, then the responsibility of budget management can also fall under your project manager. With this, they can make informed recommendations on how your PR team can maximize the amount of money provided and keep you on track with all your deadlines and goals.
They can connect metrics to business outcomes
One notable obstacle that PR teams faced last year was the difficulty in connecting metrics to business outcomes that could showcase the impact of their work. According to the 2022 State of PR Measurement Survey, the results of media relations should be tracked and measured to prove the team’s value to stakeholders. This includes success metrics like website traffic, social media engagement, coverage/stories placed, and audience reach.
All these considered, the referenced LHH article points out that one of the crucial duties of project managers is to generate reports for management—such as performance metrics. They can leverage new technologies, like AI-powered applications, to report on the status of every project or campaign and what benefits stakeholders can expect from each one. In fact, a Harvard Business Review feature on project management explains that when utilizing project assistants, project managers can better focus on stakeholder management than on administrative and manual tasks. This enables your PR team to gather significant project data and speed up reporting.
Setting realistic targets and deadlines and coordinating with external departments are part and parcel of developing a PR campaign. By having a great project manager, you can achieve a more efficient and organized means of fulfilling your campaign.