Over the years, tactics for measuring PR have ranged from measuring column inches to counting media hits to tallying social media mentions. Some of these techniques have been less than useful; clips and AVE mean little.
However, measuring the effectiveness of PR with real numbers is critical for any campaign. The practice enables you to track tangible results and show how well your messaging is working, providing vital information for your company executives and other stakeholders.
How can you decide which PR measurement methods to use for your organization? Below are a few best practices to help you track PR effectively:
1) Determine what you’re measuring.
Before you collect numbers and track metrics, define what outcomes are important to your campaign. Is it new business leads? Website visitors? Each metric falls into one of Ketchum Global Research’s three different components of PR:
Outputs. How far does your message reach, and how interested are your readers? Traditionally speaking, outputs measure media impressions, but they can include website impressions and visit frequency.
Outcomes include perceptions/behaviors such as awareness and opinions. Tracking outcomes can help you determine how likely your audience is to invest in your product or service.
Business results measure the bottom line effectiveness of your PR efforts. For example, did a placed article result in sales? Did a tweet to a well-known reporter secure an interview with your CEO? Both can affect brand value, company revenue, stock price and market share, which are all things your executives care about.
2) Monitor and respond.
Data shouldn’t just be collected and reported. It is important to actively track and respond to trends and PR situations as they develop.
3) Use effective metrics.
Collecting and monitoring data is useless if that data doesn’t reflect the reality of public attitudes.
PR is vital to your company’s sales and marketing. With the right data and metrics, you can not only win more clients and increase sales, but also improve your overall efforts.
You’re increasingly pressured to show how your PR program correlates with bottom-line results, but how do you capture the ROI? Download the Measure & Maximize PR Impact guide now to learn how to start delivering bottom-line results for your business.