I’ve said this before, but evaluating a PR campaign based on sales or rate of return isn’t the proper way to measure whether your campaign and efforts are a success or not. PR doesn’t work like that; it’s a long-term investment and — when done right — will increase awareness of your product, service, book or expertise, to your target audience. This doesn’t mean skyrocketing sales right away.

Let’s look at ad equivalency. Say you land a placement in a popular newsstand magazine. You may have paid a publicist or spent your own time scoring this placement, but you didn’t pay the magazine to feature you in its pages. But what if you had? How much would it have cost you to buy an ad in the same magazine?

It wouldn’t have been cheap and it wouldn’t have the same effect as the placement either. Why? Well, what PR does that no ad can do, is build your credibility. It’s basically an implied endorsement from the media outlet that you have the goods and their readers should take notice. A placement is worth 3 to 10 times that of an ad because of the credibility factor!

So what about the bottom line? Well, PR isn’t directly about increasing sales or profit. It’s about the increasing the intangibles — the credibility, awareness, word of mouth and buzz — that combine with all your other efforts to help take your business to the next level. So if you sit down and figure out what you’re committed to achieving and how you can utilize PR to help you reach your goals, you’ll quickly learn how valuable   — and vital — PR will be to you and your endeavors.