Public Relations Residual Value (PRrv)

28 Nov

Did you ever have an idea and think that perhaps it is a ‘big idea’?  You decide to sleep on it to see how it sounds in the cold light of morning.  You wake up and realize, well this isn’t really a big idea.  In fact, maybe it’s just a nice idea.  Heaven forbid, some may even think it is a dumb idea!  Your excitement of the prior evening has been replaced by a flood of doubt.  That was my experience in thinking about a concept I’ll call Public Relations Residual Value (PRrv).

The concept is simple enough.  Public relations materials – releases, B-roll, product reviews, articles, blog postings, etc. – have a value beyond the transactional value that occurs at the time of their appearance.  By being archived on websites that are searchable, these materials have a shelf life or longer-term value that transcends the shorter-term transactional value.  The value is related to the degree to which the collection of PR materials form a database that may be accessed by search engines like Google, and the contribution the materials make toward search positioning on the specific search sites.

Various studies have shown the majority of traditional journalists begin their story with a Google search.  We also have ample anecdotal evidence that customers and consumers use search extensively to gather information and do comparative analysis of products and services.  Clearly, having positive PR materials among the top results for a given search has value, although it may be problematic to assign a specific value to this.

Public Relations Residual Value (PRrv) is certainly not a primary component of the value generated by public relations.  But, if one is attempting to examine the total value generated by PR – tangible and intangible, short-term and longer-term – then it may be worth considering.

Big, nice or dumb idea is for you to decide.  As always, your comments are very welcome and appreciated. 

Thanks for reading, Don B 

3 Responses to “Public Relations Residual Value (PRrv)”

  1. B.G. Smith December 22, 2007 at 8:17 pm #

    I think I see where you’re going with this, but how different is this from press release mentions on blogs? We all know that “scoring” press releases that are reprinted in their entirety usually produces an inflated value, and I think this idea may speak to that issue (Perhaps the % of the release covered an in what way, thus making it more credible perhaps?). I like this idea though.

  2. Don Bartholomew December 23, 2007 at 5:25 pm #

    Thanks for your comment B.G. The concept of PR Resisdual Value is broader than just press release mentions on blogs. The common ground is that press release mentions on blogs contribute to residual value in that they help form the database of searchable content that comprises value. The value is more on the positive impact on search results rather than the standalone ‘value’ of the release per se. It is actually very difficult to assign a discrete value to a release on a blog since blog statistics like impressions or views are either unavailable or inflated as you suggest. Many would argue the real value of the release on a blog is whether or not it aids in starting a conversation on the blog since blogs are really more about engagement (IMHO) than a ‘score’. Thanks again for reading. -Don B


  1. Capturing the Total Value of Public Relations « Proving the Value of Public Relations - December 15, 2008

    […] years.  The other time dimension value created by PR is what I have referred to previously as the residual value of PR.  That is the value of the created searchable and archived content created by the PR function.  […]

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