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How to Create Your 2015 PR Measurement Plan

If 2015 is the year that PR becomes a data-driven practice, we have to be proactive and plan accordingly. We not only have to plan our PR efforts but also plan how we’re going to measure them in Google Analytics.

Begin With Objectives

The starting point with our measurement plan is defining and understanding our brand’s objectives. Why do we exist? What is the underlying reason for wanting to get our product or service into the hands of our customers?

When we have the answers to those questions, we can address strategies and tactics, i.e., our PR campaigns and activities. We can’t exchange the two steps; business objectives always, always come first. They are our goals. Our strategies and tactics are the means by which we achieve them.

The objectives, strategies, and tactics lead to the third component in the measurement plan: our key performance indicators (KPIs). These are our milestones. They show that we’re headed in the right direction or offer insights into where we need to improve.

The final pieces of the measurement plan are segments and targets. Segments are things like channels, customer activity in relation to our content and sources. We measure the ones that are relevant to our KPIs and leave the rest. Targets also relate to our KPIs; they’re the numerical values that determine success or failure.

We’re not done once we’ve defined our measurement plan. We still have a few steps to do before we’re ready to start measuring our work.

Define and Document

PR-Measurement-Planning-Create-Objectives

Our next step is to define and document our technical infrastructure. It’s important to do because we’ll have to work with our IT departments or person in order to successfully track and measure our efforts. Creating an infrastructure helps facilitate the process and allows us to turn our business objectives into trackable items.

Plan for Implementation

We now turn to a different planning phase, the one of implementation. A plan is needed because the implementation process may be easy or complicated depending on our brand’s needs. You may have a basic website. I may have a website, a mobile version of the website and a mobile app. All three pieces require an implementation plan because they require different tracking codes. They may even have different goals associated with them. For instance, the mobile app may be part of a loyalty program whereas the mobile website drives initial awareness.

Set Up Tracking

PR-Measurement-Plan-Tracking-Code

With the implementation plan in place, we can place the necessary tracking codes across our various properties and in specific events like watching a video or downloading our latest PDF. This step, like the implementation plan, can be simple or complex. It’s also one that should be coordinated with, if not done by, IT.

Monitor, Report and Refine

The final step is to develop a process for monitoring and reporting metrics. The information is useful for a number of activities. For instance, it can help us refine and improve our reporting. If we aren’t receiving the data we want, we may not be tracking things the right way. It can also help us refine and better our PR activities. If we are tracking things the right way but not getting the desired results, we need to work on our efforts.

Voila! We’re ready to measure our PR in 2015.

Want to see how PR tech plays a role in measurement and more? Get your free “PR Tech: What’s in Store for 2015?” white paper now!

Image: Neil Cummings (Creative Commons)

Tags : measurement

About Erin Feldman

Erin Feldman is the director of editorial services at Tenacity5 Media. When she isn’t researching, writing, and editing blog posts and white papers, she writes poetry and essays, draws her favorite Write Right character, and plans what art form to study next. She’s based in Austin, Texas and can be found on Twitter @erinmfeldman.

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