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ROI A PR Couture Guest Article by Amanda Slavin

4 Tips for Measuring the Impact of a Brand Event

With New York Fashion Week in full swing and runway shows, presentations and parties ruling the day and night, our curious minds naturally go to wondering how we can best determine if the events we produce year after year (Fashion Week related or not) actually make an impact.

It might feel like a scary question. And with good reason. Determining the worth and value of a particular communication effort keeps many entrepreneurs and by extension, their publicists, up at night. Of course, impact can mean many things. It can mean a positive impact on the world, a financial impact on your wallet, or a strategic advance or media hit for a client.

I've found that more experiential you become with the work you do, the harder it is to measure impact. We can't simply point at site traffic or drum up an impressive number of print media impressions. So at CatalystCreativ, we have created a new term for ROI, switching it from Return on Investment to Ripple of Impact. We believe that every client we create an experience for has to have a larger ROI in the world than the basic numbers. Over the past two years, we have figured out ways to help our clients measure this ROI. Here are four ways we do it that you can apply to your own event efforts.

At CatalystCreativ, we have created a new term for ROI, switching it from Return on Investment to Ripple of Impact.

Have a consistent measurement system

This is a challenging one, particularly with client-facing companies. Each client has completely different objectives and different outcomes, but it’s important to stay consistent with the way you provide data. We create case studies which we send to each client after the work we have provided. We also publish them our website. All our case studies follow the same format.

The more detailed you can get with matching your results to the initial objectives set by the client, the easier it is to demonstrate that you have added value.

Start with a clear definition of success

When providing data, it’s really important to talk to your clients and ask them what they want from your services. Each client is completely different. One client’s objectives may be for people to be completely present and off their phones at an event, while another is set on everyone tweeting and measuring the use of a particular hashtag. If you agree on what success looks like, and set objectives from the beginning, it's much easier to build our strategies that are in support of that goal. Clear objectives should be referred to again and again during a campaign to ensure you are headed in the right direction, and haven't veered off course.  when you are going in the right direction and when you stray off

When providing data, it’s really important to talk to your clients and ask them what they want from your services. Each client is completely different.

Automate wherever possible

As noted, systems are important, but sometimes in order to measure the impact you have created, you need to think outside of the box. For our ongoing partner, Downtown Project, we have produced and curated ongoing monthly events for the past two years. This gets fairly difficult to manage in a Google spreadsheet, so we decided to partner with Attendify to engineer an app to make it easier. Not only will the app help facilitate more connections, but it will also measure them in real time. Sometimes a traditional system makes sense as a foundation for your strategy, but to show your value to the client you will have to go above and beyond.

Sometimes a traditional system makes sense as a foundation for your strategy, but to show your value to the client you will have to go above and beyond.

Sometimes a traditional system makes sense as a foundation for your strategy, but to show your value to the client you will have to go above and beyond.

Ask for testimonials

One of the biggest ways we measure our impact is through the testimonials we receive. This can be from attendees of an event we have produced or the actual clients themselves. The more reviews you receive, the more obvious it is that you are doing something right. When we receive thank you notes or thank you videos, or positive feedback to surveys we send out, it helps me remember why I started my company in the first place.

It’s important to remember that while measuring impact is crucial for success, so is the learning process that comes along with it. It’s nearly impossible to get it perfect every time. The more you capture data and the more you learn from your mistakes, the more you can move towards creating a larger ROI – however you define it.

About Amanda Slavin

Amanda Slavin (M.A. Education) is the 29-year old founder of CatalystCreativ, an experience studio that’s focused on helping cities, brands and movements create events that engage audiences and help brands tell their stories in a more impactful way. Founded in June 2012 and backed by Zappos’ CEO and venture capitalist Tony Hsieh, CatalystCreativ designs immersive experiences that build community, increase engagement around a mission or intention and create more active participants in making the world a better place.

Image via: Still In Brigade 

How Brands Take Advantage of Fashion Week

Not at NYFW? No Problem. Publicists Share How Brands Can Get Involved

Just because your clients aren't showing at fashion week, doesn't mean taking the week off (ha! like you ever would). In fact, there are ample ways to take advantage of the media frenzy more than 100,000 people attending. Here are 2 ways publicists are getting their clients involved in creative ways.

Dani Song wearing Bogs

Fix a common problem for editors and bloggers attending

It's all about making life easier for those you want to build a relationship with, and NYFW in February can be cold, rainy and slushy. To combat bad weather, Samantha Slaven Publicity reached out to editors, bloggers and influencers attending offering to outfit them in some very necessary waterproof footwear from client BOGS. An extension of an ongoing seeding program which has already caught the attention of top tier bloggers like Dani Song (pictured), this fashion week specific pitch angle is a hit.  Samantha Slaven explains "I’ll never forget getting stuck in a blizzard one FW, and lamenting my poor (LA girl) shoe choices! We’re integrating Bogs into key fashion bloggers/influencers wardrobes this FW so they have warm, cozy, stylish footwear to wear around town, especially in case of any snowy/icy/rainy weather. When the weather gets crummy, no matter what time of year, no one wants to ruin their $1000 designer boots - Bogs is a great alternative to still look stylish while ensuring you have the traction not to fall on your face." Indeed - I have a pair of black boots still recovering from an unexpected week of New York City snow!


Comfy+Chic Fashion Week Look by  Shutterstock

Use Fashion Week to provide customer inspiration

If your clients are following along like everyone else, take advantage of social media instantly connect runway trends with existing inventory, show how to get a popular look for less, or simply show off a fun brand personality by poking a bit of good-natured fun at street style snaps or the more avant garde designer looks. At Me Management, CEO Matthew Aversa shared that his NYC team shares event calendars and social media accounts with clients on the west coast, to make it easy for clients to "follow on all social media and make statements as they are happening," noting that, " It's actually a lot more fun that way."

While following along in real-time is great, fashion week related content can also developed and used year round. Shutterstock created two well-trafficked pieces of blog content in 2013 and 2014, demonstrating how to take advantage of Shutterstock to make fashion week collages and mood boards. A representative for the company shared that the plan this year is to "have these older pieces of content, which are evergreens, to be resurfaced via social media."

What other creative NYFW-related partnerships, content strategies and campaigns have you seen popping up? Share with us @prcouture on Twitter!

PS: Make sure you're following our NYFW coverage on Instagram this week, courtesy of the PR Girls at The Riviere Agency!

Photo Credit: goMainstream

Giveaways with Amazon, Racked's Makeover & Fashion Week Access Wherever You Are Fashion PR, Marketing & Social Media News for the Week of February 9, 2015

Giveaways with Amazon, Racked’s Makeover & Instant Fashion Week Access

  • Learn how to pose with some street style swagger and make awkward photos a thing of the past. (via XO Jane)
  • So why does an online editor need to be at Fashion Week, anyway? (via Fashionista)
  • Conde Nast is the latest publisher to court YouTube beauty starlets. (via Digiday)
  • Amazon announces enticing new giveaway tool that anyone can use in hopes of reeling big brands in. (via The Verge)
  • Instagram’s new looping video feature has become a brands new best friend. (via AdWeek)
  • Guys! Racked got a website makeover, and it is beautiful! What do you think? (via Racked)
  • Branding may need to go back to its branding roots. (via Hubspot)
  • Did your invites to Fashion Week get lost in the mail again? It’s ok, you won’t miss a thing with this guide. (via Harpers Bazaar)
  • New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio names New York street after Oscar de la Renta. (via Fashion Times)
  • Twitter buys start-up Niche to match social media and video stars with advertisers. (via CNet)

Favorite Fashion Videos

Photo Credit: jaimelondonboy

Meet Crosby Noricks

Hi. I'm Crosby, Founder of PR Couture, Fashion Brand Strategist and PR Girl Mentor. I care about supporting and celebrating fashion publicists as well as helping companies connect with their audiences in more meaningful ways. Recently, iMedia included me in their annual list of 25 Internet Marketing Leaders and Innovators, along with people from Starbucks, Twitter and Volkswagon, which I think is pretty neat. Like Elle Woods, I am a Gemini-vegetarian (that's about where the similarities end). Let's connect: Check out my full bio, Brand Elixir sessions or shoot me a note.