Why a PRetty end-of-year report is the best christmas present

December 21, 2023

The end of the year is here again. That means Christmas, New Year's Eve and ... End-of-year reports. For many, an end-of-year report is like the undecorated back of a Christmas tree that is all too often overlooked in the hope no one notices. But why does it pay to make the effort anyway? What is the added value of a quality end-of-year report? It is a crucial document that not only highlights the efforts and results of the past 12 months, but also offers insights for future strategies. As a PR consultant at Evoke, I therefore take great pleasure in making time to highlight the added value of my expertise and PR activities. Below you can read why and how.

By Steffy Bruyninx

A good preparation is half the battle

It is advisable to provide regular reports on important results. I always tailor the frequency, e.g. per activity, monthly or quarterly, to the time and need of my clients themselves. Regardless of the frequency, accessible reporting is essential for all stakeholders, so that they are informed of all successes in a timely manner and are not confronted with unpleasant surprises. In addition, those interim reports lay the foundation for a thorough year-end evaluation. I also keep an overview of all my own results per PR activity throughout the year for the same reason.

Offer clear insights with the right data

To demonstrate the impact and ROI of all PR activities, an end-of-year report should highlight the right data. The statistics should be in line with the predetermined PR goals and clearly show to what extent the KPIs were achieved. Therefore, it is important that the report presents the main findings clearly and concisely using visuals, graphs and charts. A solid foundation starts with a clear overview of all the client's media mentions over the past year. That overview can be further broken down according to the focus of the report, such as by media type to highlight the relevance of the clippings or by reach to show the amount of media visibility. Such an overview also provides insight into a company's share-of-voice, which shows the media coverage the company and key stakeholders receive from it compared to competitors. A higher share-of-voice means more brand recognition, credibility and trust among target audiences.

Outlining the necessary context

A simple listing of all the data is not enough. To give my clients additional context, I always translate data into compelling stories that show the impact of my PR efforts. The ideal PR report clearly highlights successes, challenges and opportunities. I also don't just focus on quantity, but quality also plays a big role, such as the overall sentiment of the clippings or a large article in a major newspaper that completely contains a client's key messages. Moreover, I also dedicate a slide in my year-end reports to outlining the current, constantly evolving media landscape. This way, my clients are aware of the latest updates and can better understand some strategic choices. I am also always transparent to my clients about the feedback I receive from journalists, such as the need for local customer stories or local figures in surveys. That way, my clients know what thresholds I face and what input they can help me with later.

Seeking solutions

In case of disappointing results, reflection and learning from these experiences is crucial. A good report should therefore clearly show which KPIs were challenging and due to which obstacles. It should also include a plan to address those challenges in the future. For that plan, I always devise alternative angles, as well as clear guidelines to the client for any additional support. I also always anticipate critical questions to counter any concerns or queries. 

Planning ahead

A PR report serves not only to communicate key results, but also to draw up an action plan with KPIs for the next year based on these results. It explains which activities worked best and gives the opportunity to examine which successful activities can be repeated. By making recommendations, I also want to give the client the opportunity to take them into account. Besides planning future actions, the year-end report also serves as a starting point for discussing budgets. Here, I analyse whether the hours are used optimally and whether more can be achieved if additional hours are available.

As I dive further into numbers and let all successes shine brighter than a Christmas tree peak, I wish you a new year full of laughter, creativity and PR victories!

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