Internal Audit

Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist

Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist

It is, indeed, important for an organization to maintain its image as a brand in the market and its perception among the targeted customers. The company shall, from time to time, conduct the advertising and public relations audit checklist to avoid inaccuracy in the desired brand image and direction of the company. Organizations, with the help of advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklists, examine and analyze the tone of the brand through its owned media, such as the company website and social media, on how they portray and perceive its external and internal audience.

The advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist is used to determine and evaluate the concerned organization’s PR strategy. The main objective behind the advertising and public relations audit checklist is to determine if the company can achieve its main goals, like increasing its brand value and sales, and also understand how the public or the targeted customer perceives the respective brand.

The advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist assists the company in understanding where it stands and what improvements the organization has to adopt to improve the brand value. By conducting an advertising and public relations audit checklist, a respective company can redefine its goals and objectives on how the company can increase its image and brand recognition in the market. The company, through an advertising and public relations audit checklist, can achieve a clear picture and the right path on how to grow the organization in the market through an advertisement or marketing strategy.

Definition of Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist

When a company desires to understand the brand value of its service or product in the market, it conducts an advertising and public relations audit checklist designed in such a way that it can restructure the brand image and perception among the stakeholders, customers, employees, investors, and the media, is what advertising and public relations audit checklist is known about.

The main purpose or objective behind the advertising and public relations audit checklist is to identify and determine how the company is perceived by the people in the market. It helps the company restructure its reputation in the peer market so that targeted customers are attracted to the respective companies. Companies can identify the strengths and weaknesses in the brand promotion activities or programs through an advertising and public relations audit checklist.   

Key Components of a Public Relations Audit Checklist

Given below are some of the common key components of an advertising and public relations audit checklist:

1. Media Evaluation

Firstly, the company shall evaluate the presence of the company image in the media reporting. The advertising and public relations audit checklist shall examine the respective company’s social pages and websites. With the advancement of technology, a digital market has played an important role in uplifting brand value through a social media platform. Thus, a proper PR audit has to be conducted diligently, along with a review of what is being said and shared in the media.

2. Coverage Metrics

A company does its best to achieve a good reputation in its brand value. Therefore, it is, indeed, important for a company to be aware of the kind of publicity they are receiving. Through an advertising and public relations audit checklist, an organization shall correct the information that is found incorrect, and positive comments about the respective company’s brand have to be taken on board.

3. Media Patterns

A company, after due analysis, can develop a systematic PR plan or strategy for conducting or organizing timely campaigns and target journalists at the right time for the publicity or promotion of the brand. This includes setting up strategic planning to approach seasonal news calendars and to identify the top contacts for reactive, topical news.

4. Stakeholders’ opinion

A company, through advertising and public relations audit checklist, shall gather both stakeholders and employees to understand and identify their knowledge of the brand value of the company. It shall be the sole responsibility of both stakeholders and employees to be able to explain what and how their company’s brand works since they represent the brand message and disciple day-to-day business.

5. Coverage and Sentiment

With analytical tools or an approach, a company can collect the depth behind its brand value and PR marketing. It helps organizations understand the reviews given by the public, which are either bad, good, or neutral. With the help of analytical tools, a company will understand how much the brand is getting attention and in what category, and thus, accordingly, a company can improve the category where the brand is lacking.

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6. Share of Voice vs Competition

A share of voice or SOV is a methodology on how a company could determine and identify the brand visibility against the competitors in the peer market. The advertising and public relations audit checklist shall consider the respective brand’s share of voice in general media to check if they stand out compared to the other players in the market. Some of the general media include newspapers, websites, business media outlets, industry-specific websites, magazines, and social media.

7. Competitor analysis

The advertising and public relations audit checklist shall also examine the competitors in the market; it is always recommended to evaluate the strategy on how a similar industry is approaching the marketing strategy to check if their messages are perceived by the general public and what approach they are adopting to promote the same. It is always wise for an organization to create a benchmark for their performance so that they can be outshined in the respective market.

Discuss the importance of evaluating media planning strategies.

With the advancement of technology, organizations shall leverage multiple media platforms and data-driven media strategies so that marketers receive centralized information across all media platforms. Media planning helps the organization formulate a strategy, examine the effectiveness of the brand marketing, and determine the best way to communicate the messages of the brand to the targeted audience.

Media planners are usually third parties who have a firm understanding of the company’s policies and structure and its target audience, along with various media platforms and ongoing media trends.

Through advertising and public relations audit checklists, a company shall evaluate the media planning so that a targeted audience is attracted and the correct combination of messages is delivered to the public in the respective market.

How to perform Advertising and Public Relations Audit checklist

The following steps are to be performed for the Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist:

1. Scope of Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist

With the ever-changing culture of the marketing industry, a PR audit shall create a structure questing various aspects behind the PR audit of a company like what is the goal behind the PR audit, what aspects of the public relations program are to be examined or evaluated, where and how to utilize the PR audit. Thus, such a strategy shall help the company to narrow down the focus and scope of the Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist and accordingly set a clear and realistic approach.

2. Choosing a PR audit tools

The next important step for the advertising and public relations audit checklist is to choose the correct PR audit tools for the smooth functioning of a public relations audit. These PR audit tools are required to collect data and analyze the marketing strategy of the brand, different types of sources, and criteria to examine the PR and advertisement performance of a respective company. A company shall choose the right tools and methodology for conducting a PR audit program that aligns with the objectives, budget, scope, and time frame.

3. Collection of data and analysis for PR audit

Another important step for a PR audit is to systematically collect data and analyze the various methods and tools that are used to evaluate the PR audit program or procedure. Such data collection and analysis are conducted by collecting random samples, standardized questionnaires, coding schemes, software programs, and various other methods without any biases. Such quality of data collection and analysis is to be performed diligently.

4. Interpretation and reporting findings of a PR audit

Now, after due analysis of the PR programs and advertisements, the auditor shall interpret the findings and analyses and report the same clearly and concisely. This PR audit reporting and interpretation shall be summarised, highlighting the strengths, weaknesses and various threats to the concerned company’s PR program. However, the Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist shall also provide evidence and examples to support the PR audit interpretation and reporting align with the objective of the PR audit program. Various modules may be used to present PR audit results, such as graphs, tables, quotes, case studies, etc.

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5. Implementation & monitoring for improvement of PR audit

This is the most challenging and rewarding part of the PR audit program. After certain findings and evaluation, a benchmark must be established by the company through a PR audit program. Any gaps or issues that were detected while implementing the PR audit shall also be addressed and looked into. Once the implementation is completed, an ongoing program has to be conducted to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of the PR audit program and, accordingly, adjust PR plans and strategy wherever necessary.

6. PR audit shall be repeated regularly and continuously.

A PR audit is not a one-time measurement, but it is a continuous procedure the company must conduct continuously to understand and evaluate where its brand value stands in the competitive market and areas where they are lacking by comparing with the other PR plans and policies and thus accordingly optimize the respective company PR program. PR audit programs may be conducted by a company either annually, monthly, or quarterly, depending on the company’s PR requirements and resources.

When should a company Conduct a PR Audit?

As we know, the economic structure across the globe keeps on changing, and thus, the company’s approaches and targets also keep evolving to stay relevant in the market trends. Given below are the situations when the company shall organize or conduct a PR audit program:

  1. When a company has new plans and policies, its PR structure will also be changed simultaneously. It is the company’s responsibility to serve a new message to the customers in the market regarding the change in price, place, services, etc. In most cases, when the company’s selling operations go down, changes are to be bought by the concerned organizations, and such changes have to be known to the customer through a PR program.
  2. Whenever there is a new structure in the company framework, the way of doing things also changes depending on the stakeholder’s business, and various company operations like sales, operations, and marketing, including the public relations approach, also change accordingly.
  3. New challenges in the market, resulting in a reduction of sales and changes in how the company is perceived by the customers or in the market, is when the PR audit has to be conducted to restructure the position of the company in the peer market environment.
  4. A company may feel that the PR program has reached too far and wide in promoting its brand value; thus, streamlining and smoothing the respective public relations program has to be restructured by performing a PR audit.
  5. Whenever a company is unhappy or not satisfied with the present public relations program activity, a new PR program shall be implemented by the concerned company by conducting a PR audit to find the loopholes so that the desired goal is achieved.
  6. Even though the company’s PR program is working, it may have a desire to expand into other areas of the peer market, so it must have an advertising and public relations audit checklist program for such changes.

Benefits of Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist

The advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist is conducted to check on how people in the market perceive the respective company’s brand and its reputation. Some of the benefits of advertising and public Relations audit checklist programs are:

  1. It helps the company evaluate its marketing strategy to see if the current strategy has worked to achieve the marketing standard it aimed for. Suppose the message behind the marketing plans and strategy has been perceived by the targeted customers.
  2. Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist assists the company in keeping a watch on the competitors in the market; the auditor shall wisely choose 5 to 10 competitors among the same peers in the business to understand where they stand and how much effort more to be put to align with the market demand.
  3. It is, indeed, difficult to figure out external threats such as natural disasters, economic downturns, adverse events, etc. However, the advertising and public relations audit checklist prepares the company for the worst scenario to combat such unpredictable events.
  4. The most important element of a PR audit is to understand the weaknesses and strengths of the company. The sooner the company detects the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of its marketing, the better the action can be planned to overcome such vulnerabilities.
  5. The Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist helps the company to identify its strengths, thus boosting it to excel more on the method they are using until now.
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Conclusion

Advertising and Public Relations Audit Checklist is a vital part of the smooth functioning of a company’s operations. Reading this article must have given a wide view of how a company’s marketing strategy and planning are conducted to achieve the goal the companies are seeking. Company To set its benchmark, the company shall analyze and evaluate similar companies’ PR strategies.

FAQs

  1. What should be included in a PR audit?

    The PR audit shall include internal opportunities, internal strengths and weaknesses, examination of external threats, etc.

  2. What is a public relations audit?

    A PR audit or a public relations audit is a comprehensive evaluation of the marketing and advertising strategy of a respective company to check the brand value in the peer market.

  3. What are the tools of PR audit?

    Some of the common PR audit tools are surveys, interviews, focus groups, content analysis, media monitoring, social media metrics, web analytics, etc.

  4. What is a marketing audit checklist?

    The marketing audit checklist is a procedure on how businesses evaluate their marketing strategies and detect the areas where improvements are required, and thus, the company shall accordingly develop a market plan and strategy to achieve their marketing goals.

  5. What is the five-audit checklist?

    The five-audit checklist is setting up an audit program objective, preparing an audit plan, performing an audit, reporting audit results, implementing, and monitoring post-audit activities.

  6. What are the 7 components of a marketing audit?

    The 7 components of a marketing audit are task environment audit, marketing strategy audit, marketing organization audit, marketing system audit, marketing productivity audit, marketing function audit, and macro environment audit.

  7. What are the six steps of a marketing audit?

    The six steps of a marketing audit are setting up marketing objectives and goals, determining the current performance and gaps, finalizing the key marketing processes and procedures, and verification of marketing plan budget and resources, summarization and recommendations, and confirmation of the marketing plan.

  8. What is the structure of a marketing audit?

    Marketing analysis is conducted through a SWOT analysis method. This SWOT analysis consists of Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Company with the help of SWOT analysis helps to understand and evaluate the good and bad sides of the marketing strategy of a respective company.

  9. What is the marketing audit process?

    The marketing audit process is a program conducted by the respective company to evaluate the current market plans and strategies of the concerned organizations from the first to the last.

  10. How do you audit marketing expenses?

    An audit of marketing expenses can be conducted by a company by collecting the previous year's marketing plans and goals, records of marketing sources used throughout the year, performance records of each resource, amount utilized in each marketing channel, and website performance analysis.

  11. What is an internal audit in marketing?

    The internal audit in marketing is an evaluation of the internal operations of the company's marketing strategies.

  12. What is the most important part of a marketing audit?

    The most important part of a marketing audit is to fill the gap analysis by taking action on the information and evaluation received after completing the marketing audit. However, if such actions are not taken by the respective company after the marketing audit, the time, money, and resources will go to waste.

  13. Is audit mandatory for private companies in India?

    According to the Companies Act 2013, a statutory audit must be performed by every private company in India, irrespective of its profit or turnover, every year after the closing of each financial year.

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