As publicists, we are given the responsibility to amplify brand visibility for our clients and craft creative pitches that connect to editors and their readers. Being sure to document the work that we do is key when speaking with clients about the progress of their campaign. A report filled with jargon and stats aren’t the best way to demonstrate your worth. Here are five tips to producing PR reports that will translate to your clients and prove why you are irreplaceable and worth that retainer fee!

1. Provide Insights Based On The Client’s Priorities

Be sure to take a look at initial conversations and call notes to understand the goals your client wanted to achieve during the campaign. Your insights on the report should link back directly to their goals and show that you were able to execute and the ways you were able to do so. Telling them that you got them more followers on Instagram is great but if they asked for more media placements in print and online outlets, that does not demonstrate your effectiveness.

2. Agree On KPI

Before you even get to the point of reporting, establish the key performance indicators (KPI). You need to be in agreement with your client on how to measure success. Whether that be through engagement over social, subscribers to their blog, sign ups to their newsletter or sales of their product, you need to be sure that you understand what will be tracked and reported on before you start. Focusing your efforts on their specific KPIs is key to a successful campaign and effective reporting.

3. Make Your Report Pop

So you have all of your stats pulled together and are ready to compile the information. Time to whip out the spreadsheet right? No! You want to make your report creative and visually appealing. Make the data easy to digest and colorful. Incorporate charts and graphs to show the client the work you have done and avoid a lot of copy. You can save that for a summary at the end if you want. You want this to be a presentation that you can easily walk them through and be able to answer questions quickly. These reports are often sent to leadership and you want them to be able to clearly see the wins and impact of your campaign.

4. Every Bit Of Progress Counts. Own It

Working with the media takes a lot of patience and persistence so it may be slow moving but don’t get frustrated. Highlight all of the effort and progress you have made during the campaign. Be sure to document the moments that may seem small to you but matter when securing placements for your clients. An email following up on a pitch, a conversation with an editor over lunch to land your client a feature, a positive interaction over Instagram, a retweet from a brand or influencer or a request for a press kit. It all matters, so be sure to include it in your report. Be specific about what the opportunities are, the steps you’ve taken to secure those them and how you will continue to follow up with any outstanding requests.

5. Provide Suggestions

Reporting on the results you’ve achieved is important but providing recommendations on how to make next quarter even better shows that you are thinking ahead and are invested in the client. Revising key messages, updating headshots, changing the website all of those suggestions will help the client to see that you want to help build the brand and working to get the best press for them because they are prepared to face the media. When meeting with the clients to discuss the report leave time at the end to discuss recommendations for next quarter and action items to put those changes in action if the clients are receptive to your suggestions.

As publicists we often get wrapped up in the work of crafting campaigns for our clients and creating on brand messaging, pitching our lives away and we make reporting an afterthought. Don’t do that. Be strategic about how you convey your progress to your clients and establish a process to make reporting not only seamless but impactful.