We often emphasize just how important a PR strategy is to your bottom line, but what about measuring its success? Are there really ways to quantify just how well your PR campaign is performing and its overall level of effectiveness towards impacting your business KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)?
The short answer is yes — you can track the success of your PR campaign in a number of different ways. We understand that PR is not the least expensive route to take when it comes to marketing and brand building, so understanding the return you’re getting on your investment is crucial.
Ways to Measure Public Relations
Not everyone will measure PR the same way. A lot of it will depend on the goals you have for your campaign, and the industry and audience that you’re targeting. But here are some of the most common PR measurement techniques:
Success with earned media
This is one of the most obvious ways to measure success. Tracking the number of placements, impressions, and reach that your PR campaign generates can help you determine whether it’s been successful in reaching its intended audience.
What is a media placement?
A media placement is a mention of your brand within the publication. It can include anything from an interview with a company executive, to an article or feature on your products and services, all the way up to full-fledged advertisements.
What is a media impression?
A media impression is a measure of how many people are exposed to your PR campaign. It can be measured either in terms of actual readership (i.e. the number of people who read the article) or estimated reach (an estimate of how many people were potentially exposed to it).
What is media reach?
Media reach is a measure of the total potential number of people who were exposed to your PR campaign. This includes both readership and estimated reach, and gives you an indication of how far your message has traveled.
Social media engagement
Seeing how many people engage with your content on social media gives good insight into how well your PR campaign is resonating with your audience. Whether it’s likes, comments, shares or retweets, tracking the engagement on social media will give you a good indication of how much people are connecting with what you’re doing.
Your website traffic and user behavior should be monitored closely while your PR campaign is running to see if there are any changes or spikes in activity. This will help you better understand the link between your PR efforts and website traffic. If you’re seeing an uptick in the number of users landing on your website, and those dates coincide with dates of media placements, TV appearance or other PR efforts, it’s a strong indication that the traffic being driven to your site is through branded search terms. If you have an ongoing SEO strategy, the efforts are generally put towards driving non-branded traffic. PR can help with improving brand awareness and driving search engine traffic through queries directly related to your company name and reputation.
If lead generation is a goal of your PR campaign, tracking the number of new leads generated as well as conversion rates can help you measure its overall success. It would also help to identify any weak points in your lead generation process, so that you can make improvements going forward.
The key to measuring the success of your PR campaigns is to identify the KPIs that you want to track before launching your campaign, and then consistently tracking them over time. This will give you a clear view of how your PR efforts are performing and whether they’re having an impact on your business goals, whether you’re a small business or a large corporation. With the right measurement techniques, you can gain valuable insights that will help you make more informed decisions about your PR strategy going forward.
Utilizing Measurement Tools in Unison with Your PR Efforts
These days, there are a number of digital tools that can help you track and measure the success of your PR campaigns. These include Google Analytics, Hootsuite, Sprout Social and even specialized PR measurement software like Meltwater. Having access to these tools allows you to get detailed insights into how your PR efforts are performing in real-time — helping you adjust your strategy as needed to ensure maximum ROI.
By having a clear understanding of what metrics are important to track, utilizing the right measurement tools, and consistently measuring performance over time — you’ll be able to accurately measure whether or not your PR strategy is actually working. And implemented effectively, the right PR strategy can be incredibly rewarding for your business.
Showcasing Your Data & Results from PR Efforts
Once you have collected all of your data and measurement results, it’s important that you showcase them in the right format. It could be as simple as sending a report to stakeholders or clients, or creating an interactive dashboard with visuals such as charts and graphs.
However you choose to present it, the data should be presented in an easy-to-understand way — while also highlighting any trends or insights that you have discovered. This will help ensure that everyone involved with the PR strategy can easily understand how successful (or unsuccessful) it has been so far.
Measuring the success of your PR strategy is a critical component of any successful campaign. Ultimately, having trackable goals, accurate data and digestible measurement results is essential for understanding the full impact of a PR campaign.
It’s important to track the KPIs that are most relevant to your business goals and then measure them consistently over time. Doing this will help you determine whether or not your PR strategy is having an impact — and if not, what adjustments should be made in order to ensure maximum ROI.
If you feel your current PR strategy is lacking in measurable results, or if you need help getting started with an effective PR campaign, contact Pace Public Relations today. Our team of PR gurus and media experts are here to help your business reach its goals and achieve maximum success.