Oct 26, 2012 / by Cision Contributor

Measuring Press Release EffectivenessMeasuring the impact of PR has always been a hot debate within the profession, and evaluating the effectiveness of a press release is not exempt from this discussion. Should PR be traced back to revenue? Media coverage? Overall brand visibility and perception?  While today’s post is not aiming to settle that discussion, we’ll share some key press release metrics that we find useful for measuring success and refining messaging.

Before we jump into press release metrics, let’s take a step back and discuss WHY measurement is so important. Thanks to the digital age, press releases are no longer only crafted and distributed by public relations professionals: Anyone can do it! And they do it to reach their audiences directly.

Of course, just because anyone can do it doesn’t necessarily mean that they do it well. If you understand some of the key metrics to analyze, you can improve future press releases, increasing the likelihood that they will receive attention and visibility they deserve.

Here are just a few of the key metrics we recommend paying attention to after distribution has completed:

1. Reads.  This metric indicates the number of times people read your press release and is organic in your PRWeb analytics. So while impressions can be a valuable to understand the size of the audience exposed to your news, reads cuts through that number to give you an understanding of how many consumed the information.

By tracking this number and identifying the characteristics and topics of your most read releases, you can develop an approach to crafting releases that incorporate the traits of your ‘top performers’.

2. Click-throughs. Reading your press release is one thing, but were you able to compel the reader to act? Whether it is learning more about your organization, registering for an event or requesting more information about your services; further engaging the audience is important in evaluating the effectiveness of a press release.

There are two good ways to do this with PRWeb.  First, you can integrate a URL shortener like Bit.ly right into your PRWeb console.  This will track how many times a link to your press release was clicked and give you a quick litmus test for how the content is performing.  Second, if you have analytics like Google Analytics installed on your site, check the referral traffic sources and look for traffic coming to your site, or registration page from PRWeb releases.

3. Conversions. Okay, so your press release was read and the reader clicked on your link. What did they do once they reached your site? Did they complete a contact form, make a purchase or download a media kit.

Here again, website analytics packages such as Google Analytics can report on the behavior of visitors who read your press release. It will allow you to identify where traffic comes from as in the referral tip above, but also where people go once on your page – do they “bounce” to another site, or move to a registration page for more information and “convert.”

When you analyze these key metrics, you have a recipe for developing more effective press releases.  And you’ll end up learning a few more ways to make your site content more compelling too.  If you haven’t taken a look at your metrics in a while, we recommend you give them a look as soon as you can!

To learn more firsthand about successfully writing press releases, take a look at Most Read Press Releases on PRWeb this Summer:  2012

Photo Courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

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This post was written by a guest Cision contributor.