Action: The Only Communications Measure That Counts


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The purpose of a communications effort (e. g. , advertising, public relations) is to motivate people to action. If it hasn’t, it has failed. The bottom line is this: action is the only communications measure that counts.

Advertising and public relations can prompt action in different ways. A successful advertisement can intrigue, beguile or excite. These feelings can motivate a person to purchase or use a product or service.

Public relations can create a favorable environment and generate interest for a product or service. News reports, reviews or other coverage by a credible third party can motivate people to investigate or purchase a company’s wares.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer conducted a highly successful communications campaign to support the launch of its anti-impotence medication Viagra. Public relations generated media coverage that legitimized the issue of erectile dysfunction and prompted men to seek help for the condition. Publicity for Viagra translated into millions of prescriptions.

Pfizer’s advertising efforts helped to extend the impact of the public relations campaign. Pfizer produced a series of famous commercials featuring former senator and presidential candidate Bob Dole. The controversial advertisements extended the national dialogue about erectile dysfunction and further boosted Viagra’s sales.

Is Your Communications Campaign Motivating People?

There are many ways to measure whether a communications campaign is motivating people to action. Some of these include:

* Sales Or Service Utilization: The amount of people using or purchasing a product or service.

* Web site Visits: The number of visits to a Web site generated by a communications campaign.

* Event Attendance: The amount of people attending an event in response to campaign-related messages.

* “Buzz": Whether the communications campaign is generating commentary about the product or service in informal channels (e. g. , blogs, podcasts, chat rooms and word-of-mouth).

The fact is, action = success, inaction = failure. When it comes to communications measurement, action is the most important criterion.

(c) 2005 Fard Johnmar

Fard Johnmar is founder of Envision Solutions, L. L. C. , a full-service healthcare marketing communications consulting firm. Envision Solutions provides innovative products and services to not-for-profit and for-profit organizations. Envision Solutions’ goal is to make our clients more efficient and successful. For more information about Envision Solutions please visit our Web site .


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