By Anna McDermott, Content Creator

Nancy Marshall, host of The PR Maven® Podcast, is a big believer in return on investment (ROI). Her PR agency would not be as successful if her clients didn’t see a clear ROI from their relationship with Marshall Communications.

Becky McKinnell, iBec CreativeIn her podcast episode with Becky McKinnell, founder of iBec Creative in Portland, Maine, Nancy chatted with Becky about how she measures her own success.

Becky was recognized as one of Businessweek’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs 25 and Under. She was also named U.S. Small Business Administration Young Entrepreneur of the Year, received the Stevie Women in Business Award, and has earned numerous other recognitions for her company’s work.

Today, with all the ways to engage with people and promote a company — from numerous social media platforms, networking events, pitches and generating media coverage — it can be difficult to know what is important to measure to gauge the efficacy of a marketing program.

Nancy asked Becky about what is important when it comes to measurement.

“I focus on quality over quantity,” Becky said.

Becky likes to measure her success through engagement and believes it is more important to look for the quality of engagement rather than the amount.

“You can host an event and have hundreds of people attend, but the quantity doesn’t necessarily equal value,” she added.

Becky talked about an Instagram story workshop her company hosted this past summer. There were 25 participants — not a huge group — but they created 60–100 quality product Instagram stories and story ads during the workshop.

“If your business creates 25 very happy customers, that is high-quality engagement,” she said.

Focusing on quality over quantity holds true for other efforts as well, not just event attendance and social media. All marketing and public relations initiatives can be more effectively measured using this approach.

For example, you can write a pitch letter and send it out to every journalist who has ever covered your industry and hope it sticks, or you can spend time researching journalists who have written stories related to the specific story angle you are going to pitch.

You can then tailor your pitch to those individuals and make it personal, showing them you read and follow their work. You are far more likely to get a result this way than from bombarding dozens of journalists with the same generic pitch.

Sometimes it is hard to see the forest for the trees — but if you re-focus measurement on quality over quantity, you can be certain that you’re evaluating what truly matters to your business — how engaged your audience is with your brand.

“Engagement with your targeted audiences is essentially the foundation of a strong brand. Those people who engage with your brand either online or in person, or ideally both, are your strongest brand ambassadors who will stand behind you in good times and in bad,” Nancy said.

The PR Maven® Podcast is presented by Marshall Communications, creator of The Marshall Plan® strategic process. The Marshall Plan is a fully customized document using our 65 proprietary steps and leads to a playbook for your success. If you think your business or organization would be a candidate for a Marshall Plan, you can take our Marshall Plan quiz to find out. Visit