When it comes to competing for marketing budget and resources, marketing leaders expect to compete on “a level playing field” and yet that has not been the case for senior PR/comms managers. When PR managers compete for budget, resources and recognition for their earned media activity against colleagues representing paid and owned media — the field is slanted against PR. While other functions have metrics at their fingertips to show the return on investment or business impact for their activities, PR professionals typically have not. However, developments in new technology are leveling the playing field, and fast.  By providing the true attribution of revenue for earned media campaigns, PR and comms professionals are quickly closing the gap.

This blog post explains how a transformational technology, Cision Impact, provides PR professionals with data that accurately measure the impact of earned media and its value to the business. An infographic is included that shows how Cision Impact builds on the Cision Communications Cloud®, to deliver the most complete PR workflow platform — from identifying influencers to reporting revenue generated. 

Moving Beyond The Limitations of Traditional PR Metrics

Communications pros know they must demonstrate how PR and communications contribute to revenue-generating activity but struggle to find and use the right data. For example, a PRWeek/Cision survey identified that 75 percent of comms professionals said they must do better at measuring and proving impact on business objectives from their activity. However, nearly 70 percent said they do not have enough data and analytics to properly attribute how their earned media programs impact business results.

PR metrics, such as “potential reach” and “impressions” in isolation do not define the actual audience reached or provide any subsequent internal engagement with your organization. In contrast, colleagues managing paid channels do have metrics that quantify the dollar output of their activity and they can report on the exact individuals or collective audience consuming the campaign. The consequence for PR professionals when negotiating for internal resources is that they are disadvantaged by having an incomplete justification of PR’s value to the organization. 

Cision Impact: True Measurement of Earned Media Value  

For the first time ever, Cision is bringing to market technology that makes it possible for brands to measure the impact of earned media accurately. Cision Impact allows our customers to deliver in a detailed report, the value of their earned media efforts. 

Cision Impact leverages proprietary tracking technology that tracks earned media content. In addition, Cision has partnered with best-in-class advertising and data organizations to ensure complete coverage of earned media across the internet. With this AdTech-like tracking capability, PR professionals can now track a single press release view or influencer blog post view all the way through to a lead or shopping cart conversion. Furthermore, Cision Impact provides detailed demographic and firmographic data about your audience.

More specifically, Cision Impact Reports track:

1. Reach (True reach rather than potential reach/circulation) – Views, Unique Visitors, Repeat Visitors

2. Engagement – Click-Throughs, Image Views, Video Plays, Document Opens/Downloads, Audio Plays

3. Audience Insights – Demographics (B2C) and Firmographics (B2B)

4. Conversion – Client Site Sessions & Page Views, Lead Generation and Shopping Cart/Revenue

Cision Impact Report

Cision Impact Report

Plan, Execute and Evaluate PR Programs – In One Platform

Cision Impact builds on the Cision Communications Cloud’s ability to provide PR professionals with one powerful platform to identify influencers, craft and distribute campaigns, and attribute value from the broadest spectrum of media sources. For organizations that have more bespoke requirements – Cision Intelligence provides experienced industry professionals, human analysis and expertise to gain an even deeper layer of insights for clients.

The infographic below breaks down the five key steps to comprehensively manage earned media programs. And includes key metrics, generated by Cision Impact, to measure the true value of earned media activity.

Comms-Value-Infographic.jpg

Turning Point

The harsh truth is that no matter how great a PR campaign may seem, it is deficient unless communicators can attribute its business value to senior management. Today, with the advent of new technology, PR professionals can play on a level playing field with their colleagues who manage paid and owned media channels. Using data-driven tools, such as Cision Impact, PR professionals can communicate their earned media results using essential business metrics such as lead generation and revenue.

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simon.bossick@cision.com'

About Simon Bossick

Simon Bossick is a Product Marketing Manager at Cision, where he develops marketing collateral and documentation to support the Cision Communications Cloud. Previously, he worked for multi-national publishers (B2B and B2C) in Canada and the UK in product management and marketing roles.